Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
Wilson Browne Solicitors can help you take your career to the next level.
We have an almost unique niche in our market with a strong regional base, 6 offices, great clients, a heritage that goes back over 100 years and a reputation that others envy.
We are a firm with a vision and that vision starts with being a great place to work, no long commute, a proper work-life balance, varied and interesting clients, opportunities for development and career progression and a host of other benefits. If you don’t believe us look at what some of our employee’s have to say.
I present to you…a day in my life!
Notice how I have time to do things for me? Things that better me as a person? This is all possible with working at Wilson Browne Solicitors as they don’t just promote a work-life balance, they genuinely see it through (which seems to be quite rare!).
Being able to have some ‘me’ time in the morning and evenings means that I can put in my everything during my working day to achieve our clients goals, be 100x more productive and just be all the help you need!
7th May 2021 had been a date circled on my calendar for 2 years. It had been written in bold, it had been highlighted, and it had been underlined…twice! 7th May 2021 was the day that I (finally) qualified as a Solicitor.
I am now over a month into ‘newly-qualified life’ and it finally seems to be settling in. I still have my new business card sitting on my desk as a frequent reminder. I still take every opportunity to tell someone that ‘I am a Solicitor’. And I still find my eyes lingering over the word ‘Solicitor’ on my email signature. But (in my defence) it has been six years in the making, so it may take a few months until I can finally ‘play it cool’.
Now seems like the perfect opportunity to reflect on the journey and to leave a small mark on our Trainee Blog for incoming and current Trainees. Below are my 3 ‘Top Tips’ that I have collated over the last two years.
Look Beyond the Fee Earners
While the Fee Earners will ultimately be your primary source of legal training, I believe that every single employee here at Wilson Browne has something to teach you during your Training Contract to ensure that you qualify as a well-rounded Solicitor.
For example, Paralegals are often the first point of contact for a client. Listen to their phone calls and take note of how they build a rapport with clients. Our Receptionists and Office Assistants are a friendly face when moving seats between offices. Be a friendly face back and they will become an invaluable support system.
And my biggest kept secret? The Secretaries. Our Secretaries were (and still are) my first port of call and are fountains of knowledge in their own right. They have taught me invaluable lessons which made every day life as a Trainee Solicitor that much easier, from where to find a Fee Earner’s favoured precedent, to the fact that our printers have a hole-punch function (a life-saver when preparing a 1,000 page Court Bundle.)
I will forever be grateful for those who played a role in my journey to qualification. Many probably don’t even realise the role they played or the impact they had on my journey. However, that’s Wilson Browne for you. ‘We’re All The Help You Need’ not only for Clients but for fellow colleagues as well.
One of my favourite parts of being a Trainee has been being a member of this unique community within the firm. No one can relate to your journey as much as those who are right there living it with you.
On both a professional and personal level, fellow Trainees become your confidants, cheer leaders, and support system. Over the last two years alone I have celebrated fellow Trainees securing their Training Contract, job offers, qualifications, engagements, PLC results and even becoming a first time Dad!
So my second tip is to ignore the myth that Trainees are your competitors and rivals. This couldn’t be further from the truth here at Wilson Browne. Embrace the advice and experience of those Trainees ahead of you, and enjoy passing that advice on to those behind you. Celebrate each others successes and milestones because, you never know, your fellow Trainees could be sitting across the Board table from you one day!
Trust the Process
Being a Trainee is not always easy. Rotating between teams, offices and legal practices every six months means that, by the time you finally settle in, it’s time to move on. Sometimes it can feel like you’re always ‘in at the deep end’ and just trying to stay afloat. By the time your toes finally touch the floor, a huge wave comes and takes you right back to where you started only six months ago and you find yourself once again treading water.
In light of this, my third tip was going to be to invest in a desk caddy. (In the last two years I have had six different desks across two offices so it’s still a good tip which warrants a mention!). However, my final tip is to just’ trust the process’. On those days when you feel overwhelmed, out of your depth, stressed, and questioning if it is all worth it, look around at those Solicitors in your team and remember that they too had to go through this process. And if they can do it, so can you!
And so, after four years at university, one Undergraduate Degree, one Masters Degree, an eye watering number of exams, an even more eye watering number of Training Contract applications, a heart breaking number of rejections, three Training Contract interviews, two Training Contract offers, one (obvious) choice, two years of training, five hundred pages of training records, 6 letters after my name… and it all came down to the 7th May 2021. And you’ll be relieved to hear that it was worth it. Every. Single. Second.
Adam Willson – Solicitor
As someone who joined the firm with very little prior work experience in the legal sector, I felt the perfect balance was struck between allowing me to take responsibility for my own work whilst being supported by several senior practitioners, including direct support from partners of the firm, so that I never felt out of my depth.
I have compared and discussed my experience with peers at other firms, and it is apparent that it is rare for firms of the size of Wilson Browne to give you that level of trust and wide variety of work so early on. I feel that this has benefitted my development exponentially in terms of my personal confidence and my ability as a legal practitioner.
A lot of firms will emphasise their investment in staff, but with Wilson Browne the writing is on the wall. I joined the firm as a paralegal having completed the LPC but with no guarantee of any progression, simply the reassurance that if you work hard the opportunities are there and that Wilson Browne has an ethos of developing and progressing staff. Just over 2 years later, I am on the third seat of my training contract with qualification as a solicitor on the horizon, and during that time I have seen numerous other staff from all across the business progress their careers with Wilson Browne.
It is exciting to be part of a firm that is always looking at opportunities to improve and grow, the recent acquisition of Friday Legal is one such example of this. However, as the legal industry is no stranger to the pitfalls of a financial crash, it is also reassuring that Wilson Browne approaches such opportunities cautiously, and has a proven record of ensuring its position is maintainable and financially secure no matter what happens in the wider market.
Wilson Browne is a widely-recognised regional firm (being one of the largest legal practices in the East Midlands) offering a broad array of legal services, and this gives us the remarkable position of being able to provide locally grounded knowledge to a wide region (across Northamptonshire and beyond).
Overall, the big selling point of Wilson Browne is the people, as they are who make the firm who it is today. Wilson Browne has striven to be a great place to work, and has achieved this by offering varied and interesting work, offering a good work-life balance, and by rewarding hard work through incentives and opportunities for career progression/growth. As a result the staff at Wilson Browne, no matter what level, are all of a similar attitude; friendly, approachable, down-to-earth, and all willing to help and contribute to the success of the firm.
Sam Stooke – Trust Administration Paralegal
Having worked at other companies over the years, I can honestly say that being at work isn’t always a happy experience. However, working at Wilson Browne for the last year and a half has been an absolute pleasure. With a wide variety of clients and great staff to work alongside, work is never dull and always rewarding.
Despite not having a legal background, everyone has been so incredibly supportive of my career move and choice to join the company. You are never made to feel ‘just a number’. With so many possible career options available, they are never afraid to help you progress over time, supporting you with training or anything else that you need in order for you to follow your career choice I look forward to my future within the company!
Chloe Lake – Paralegal
I feel incredibly fortunate to have begun my legal career at Wilson Browne. I spend each day in an environment where I feel genuinely encouraged by colleagues both in my direct team, and wider firm.
Wilson Browne places real emphasis on its marketing initiatives, and outside of my day-to-day role, this is an aspect of life at Wilson Browne that I thoroughly enjoy getting involved with – particularly on social media.
In a sector where firms can often be perceived as inaccessible, there is a real culture of accessibility, from the partners to support staff – it is easy to see why Wilson Browne is a great firm to work for.
Melanie Merrey – New Enquiries Assistant
I love the variety in this Role and the fact the it has evolved so much in the last 18 months. The job is hardly recognisable from the Spreadsheets and lists we used to work with.
Every day is different as there are different areas of Law to deal with, and the time goes by very quickly.
The Ethos of the firm is just brilliant and I felt right at home within a couple of weeks of starting. Everyone here is approachable and willing to help, from the support staff through to the Partners.
I feel like we make a difference as a team and as a firm.
Travis Wood – Solicitor
The firm’s got a modern approach – it’s not stuck in the 1800’s in the way that it operates or deals with Clients, which as a modern lawyer is important!
There’s no particular emphasis on being “partner led” (at least not in this team) which means that as a Junior Lawyer I have more opportunities to deal with larger or more sophisticated Clients and deal with more technical or complex areas of work, allowing me to develop and progress.
Wilson Browne is a good environment to work in and they don’t take themselves too seriously after all the mascot is a stuffed bear!
Emma Oliver – Associate
I remember getting that first phone call back in 2013 inviting me to interview for a Paralegal position and now I am an Associate in the biggest commercial law team in the county here at Wilson Browne. From day one I was given the firm’s biggest client and tackling a large workload – a huge sense of trust and confidence Wilson Browne places with you.
Of course I was given plenty of supervision and guidance but I knew this firm was a keeper; purple is my colour! When I started, I was that keen law graduate dreaming of a training contract and in recognition of my hard work Wilson Browne gave me that golden ticket. The emphasis placed on training and development is one (of many) of Wilson Browne’s great accolades. The support from the Partners has been second to none; both professionally and personally.
I have had such a fantastic journey and I am looking forward to my future and that of Wilson Browne.
Gemma Pabari – Solicitor
Joining any firm as a Newly Qualified Solicitor can be daunting, however I was pleasantly surprised to feel nothing but supported from my first day. Their forward thinking approach and investment in each employee is second to none. The firm really is all the help you need.
Sharon Moore – Secretary
I have worked at Wilson Browne for 23 years as a member of the support team.
My friends often ask me what it is like to work at a law firm and often think it is a typical stuffy place. Wilson Browne is not like that. It is a wonderful place to work and every one is so friendly and approachable.
There is scope to move up the ranks and Wilson Browne is very supportive of career progression. I couldn’t imagine myself working anywhere else.
David Farmer – Associate
The best thing about working at Wilson Browne is that there is a supportive team environment and the opportunity to meet clients at an early stage.
You get a real exposure to the local business community. You have the opportunity to take part in business development and become an integral part of your client’s business.
I have also taken up the position as a School Governor which has helped develop my skills and given me the opportunity to put something back into my local community.
Tom Warrender – Partner
I joined the firm in October 2005 to commence my training contract and over the years have progressed through to now being an Equity Partner sitting on the firm’s Board of Management. It is fair to say it has been quite the journey!
From the very first interview I had with the firm I got a really good feel for the place. Throughout my training contract that feeling proved to be correct with a very open family feel to the firm, where Partner’s doors are always open and it is acknowledged that everybody has a significant role to play within the firm no matter what their position.
The firm has always been one with vision and I have been proud to be a part of that helping shape the firm’s future. It is a working environment where excellent training is provided, talent is recognised and there is a real opportunity to tackle challenging legal work for excellent clients.
My time at the firm has been, and continues to be (!) an extremely positive experience.
Working within the New Enquiries Team offers a great insight to all areas of law and gives you a great understanding of how a law firm operates on a daily basis.
This is a very hands on role, you get to speak to a vast range of people and solicitors concerning different legal matters which may be completely unique or they may be transactional, you are able to offer a excellent customer service while developing a large amount of knowledge surrounding the legal profession.
The role can be challenging, it can be fast-pace and exciting, it teaches you time management skills while mainlining accuracy.