Development is a key part of our culture at Minster Law, which is why we offer a number of early career opportunities to help people begin their profession in the legal industry.
Our Training Contract programme is just one of these opportunities, which provides aspiring solicitors the chance to maximise their knowledge across a broad range of subjects, while also being coached to develop commercial, business and leadership skills. Our training contracts include an external intake as well as an internal intake to encourage progression within Minster.
We caught up with aspiring solicitors, Emily Woodhouse and Rachael Davies, who have just started their training contracts, to see what they’re most looking forward to.
“You are new to Minster Law, could you tell us a bit more about your background and career history?”
Rachael: I initially studied English Literature and Sociology at undergraduate level and it was through volunteering at Citizens Advice Bureau that I decided a career as a solicitor was definitely for me. I have spent the last four years studying the GDL and LPC at the weekend, alongside working full time as a Paralegal. I spent just over two years as a fee earner at a claimant clinical negligence firm and I have most recently been working as a defendant fee earner at a firm based in York. I find acting for claimants interesting, engaging and hugely rewarding.
Emily: I studied history at Sheffield Hallam University and then went on to study my GDL and LPC at the University of Law in Leeds. Once I began my GDL I started working for a firm based in Doncaster. My first role was in the New Work team and so I spent most of my time taking new instructions from clients for personal injury claims. I then began working in the Portal team there handling a mixture of EL/PL and RTA cases. Most recently I was dealing with pre-action cases, gathering all the evidence needed before the files were litigated.
“What made you apply for the scheme?”
Rachael: I was already aware of Minster Law’s excellent reputation and I had heard lots of positive things about the firm. I think what attracted me most to the scheme was the opportunity to develop business skills as well as further my experience of the law. I am certain that completing the business seat will give me a really good insight into the business as a whole and allow me to develop a level of commercial awareness that will help me to become a skilled and well-rounded lawyer in the future.
Emily: As I began looking at firms that offered Training Contracts, Minster Law stood out for me as it was evident from the beginning how invested they are in the progression of their employees. The business seat also caught my eye.
“Which seat are you most looking forward to?”
Rachael: I am really fortunate in that the seat I was probably most looking forward to, is my first seat. I am in Personal Legal Services at the moment and I am really enjoying learning about areas of law that are new to me, in particular employment law. I have only been in the seat about a week and I have learned so much already and had exposure to a variety of different types of claims.
Emily: I am currently in my first seat in multi-track and I am really looking forward to the next six months as I think I will really see a lot of self-progression within this time, both professionally and personally. However, I am equally looking forward to my other seats as I have not had much exposure to other areas in practice apart from personal injury.
I am also keen to get involved Minster’s charity work and have also volunteered to be a first aider. I am keen to get involved in anything that will benefit both my progression and the firm too.
“What advice would you give to people looking to apply for the training contract scheme?”
Rachael: Definitely just be yourself! The application process is great as you get to meet a number of people from different areas of the business and therefore you get a really good feel for the firm and Minster’s values and culture. Everybody is very friendly; just be confident and try your best and you may even find that you end up enjoying the application process!
Emily: When I asked Richard Harwood during my telephone interview what he considered to be the best advice for interviewees, he said “be yourself” and I really do echo that advice. If you are right for the firm and the firm is right for you, the interview/ selection process should just flow and should not be uncomfortable or overly forced.
Specifically to Minster Law’s application process, I found from my experience, that all the stages are designed to bring out the best in you and are not meant to trip you up. Also, things do go wrong, and everything will not run smoothly but do not fear that. My phone signal failing me as I had my telephone interview or arguing the wrong side during the debate section of the assessment day allowed me to show other skills that are needed for the role (I convinced myself that I could demonstrate my problem-solving skills!). Ultimately, just enjoy the interview process and learn from it.
“What is your dream role following your training contract, and why?”
Rachael: I am really looking forward to gaining an insight into the different departments across the business before I make a decision as to which area of law I would like to qualify into. I do know that I would like to be involved in the training and developing of others upon qualification, so a role with a supervisory or people management aspect really appeals to me.
Emily: I am still unsure on this one actually. I am quite open-minded at the minute but I am sure I will find my calling during my training contract. Minster Law appears to provide so many opportunities for their employees to grow and so I am confident there are many avenues for me to explore.
We’re now recruiting for a number of trainee solicitors to join us in March 2020 and September 2020. Applications are open and will close at 5pm on 30th June 2019. Find out more on our Early Careers page.