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Earlier this month I spent some time with a university graduate on work experience, to talk through what I do in my role here at Minster Law.

It reminded me of the work experience and vacation schemes I did when I was at university and also how important it is to get something like this on to your CV in today’s super competitive legal profession.

One of the first work experience weeks I did many moons ago was in the industrial diseases department of Corries Solicitors (later becoming Minster Law) in between my second and third year of university.

Without really knowing anyone in the legal profession, I called in a favour from my cousin who knew someone, and I was invited in for a week to help out. I was given a phone and asked to call up retired miners and talk them through the process of claiming for coal dust in the lungs. I helped them go through their CVs and complete the forms needed to submit their claims. It was a complete baptism of fire but it worked out brilliantly for me because I was kept on for the rest of the summer. I returned the following summer to work in asbestosis claims and thereafter the call centre when studying for my LPC.  The end result – a training contract with the now Minster Law.

I qualified in September 2008, and I don’t think I would have been so fortunate had it not been for very busy people being kind enough to give me a bit of their time and talk to me about the job. I did vacation schemes at other firms, but it turns out PI was where I wanted to be, and I was lucky enough to be kept on at Minster Law.  After a short hiatus of six years at another law firm in Leeds, I returned in 2019 and here I am as a Grade B.

I hope the student who came in got something out of her work shadowing, over and above hearing me talking about the difference between general damages and special damages and showing her some photographs of amputations and prosthetics and explaining how these are claimed for in the future.

It could be the start of something for her. I do hope it is.