By Nicole Cousins - we look forward to welcoming Nicole when she starts as a trainee with us in September 2024.

Work experience is an extremely valuable tool for an aspiring solicitor who wishes to learn more about a career in law and eventually apply for a training contract. Whilst any placement is bound to be helpful, completing work experience with a firm that you later apply to definitely helps to give your application an edge. I will be joining Lanyon Bowdler as a trainee solicitor and I hope to highlight how my work experience with the firm, completed whilst I was still in school, contributed to my successful training contract application.

My work experience placement not only gave me a more general insight into a legal career but also a glimpse into life at Lanyon Bowdler more specifically. From my week spent with the firm I was able to see firsthand the friendly atmosphere both towards colleagues and clients and I gained a more detailed understanding of the workings of several different departments. This is priceless information when it comes to a training contract application as, as well as making my application more catered to Lanyon Bowdler, I felt passionate and confident in my decision having seen what it was like to work for the firm. This confidence made the whole application process much less daunting. Furthermore, when it came to the training contract interview attending the premises before and meeting some of my interviewers previously really helped me to stay relaxed and focused. It was also helpful that, having interviewed for my work experience placement, this was not my first law related interview nor my first interview with Lanyon Bowdler.

Whilst on my work experience, I got the chance to work with five different departments. In my future training contract application this meant that I was able to discuss the different areas that sparked my interest and that I had met a range of people, often offering advice on how to further myself and my future career prospects. Especially valuable was the time I spent with current trainee solicitors at the time who, having recently completed the application process, were able to share their experiences and inspire me to reach the same position. This left me with a more detailed idea of the application process and what a successful applicant looks like. Even following my placement and as I progressed to study law at university, the support from Lanyon Bowdler was ongoing and I turned to those I had met during my time for advice surrounding my future legal career. This helped me to make decisions regarding both future training contract applications and my general direction in life as I heard from those who had been in the same position as me previously.

Following such a positive experience of the firm, when it came to finally making my training contract application Lanyon Bowdler was a natural choice and I felt equipped to demonstrate my knowledge of the firm and genuine interest in working with them. I am very grateful that I had this opportunity, and I would encourage those interested in a career with Lanyon Bowdler in the future to apply for the work experience placement and put themselves on the front foot.

For more information regarding work experience and training contacts please see our Careers page.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.