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Meet Our Trainee Solicitors

Adam Willson

Trainee Solicitor, currently in the Clinical Negligence Team.

Where did you study?

From 2012 to 2016 I studied Law at Bournemouth University, with a placement year at Citizens Advice Bureau. In my final year I opted to change my course to “Entertainment Law” so that I could write my dissertation on how internet platform providers (such as YouTube) are subject to strict regulation under EU legislation for any illegal content (most notably copyright infringement) on their service. After graduating from Bournemouth I went on to study the LPC full-time at De Montfort University whilst working at a high-street firm in Leicester.

Why did you choose law?

I chose law on a bit of a whim – looking through my college course option handbook it stuck out as something a bit different to what I had studied before and I thought I would give it a go. I had envisaged going to University to do Business and Marketing but found that I enjoyed law much more and it just seemed to click.

What is the best part of being a trainee?

The best part of being a trainee is the insight you get into the different areas of the firm. It is fascinating to see how different each area of law is in practice, and as a trainee you get the unique opportunity to see first-hand elements of the job that are atypical, such as shadowing counsel at court or attending round-table meetings with various practitioners/experts from both sides. Additionally, it is a great chance to meet people from the firm that you would otherwise typically not cross paths with.

What is the most challenging part of being a trainee?

The most challenging part of being a trainee is the 6-month cycle. It is a difficult mental challenge to approach starting from scratch every time you have just gotten to grips with a new area of law and a new way of working. In a way, it is like starting a new job every 6 months and brings with it all the feelings (both good and bad) of leaving a job and starting a new one. For this reason, it is important to have a consistent network of people to rely on for support; I have found the other trainees to be a great help with this as they are experiencing exactly the same emotions and can empathise and/or or offer advice.

If you could give your 18 year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

As someone who has struggled with self-confidence over the years my advice to my 18-year old self would be to push your boundaries. It is easy when faced with something out of your comfort zone to put it off or avoid doing it – but actually the best way to develop is to give it a go. There are plenty of opportunities to push your boundaries, but it is vital to have that confidence or drive to get out there and do it, otherwise you will never get over that fear and it will hold you back.

Tell us something people might not expect from you.

My second choice career path would have been a carpenter as I absolutely love building things and having a project to work on. I enjoy this now as a hobby and will regularly find some sort of DIY to do around the house on a weekend.

Jessica Leech

Trainee Solicitor currently in the Family Team.

Where did you study?

I studied the LLB Law Degree at Lancaster University from 2014, and graduated in 2017 with a 2:1. I then went on to study my LPC with Masters at the University of Law in Birmingham, graduating in 2018 with Distinction. The dissertation for my Masters focused on proposed reforms to Corporate Manslaughter legislation in light of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Why did you choose law?

I chose a career in law because I have always enjoyed arguing and debating (much to much parent’s frustration). I was part of the School’s public speaking and debating teams and law became the obvious career path. I enjoy the intellectual challenge of building and presenting an argument and the subsequent problem solving when preparing a counter-argument to the other side’s ideas.

What is the best part of being a trainee?

The best part of being a trainee is being able to experience so many different areas of the law first hand. As someone who is still not sure which area of the law they would like to specialise in, the opportunity to have hands on experience in so many different departments and learn the advantages and disadvantages of each area means that I will be able to make a well informed decision when I come to the end of my contract. An area of law is often very different in practice compared to university text books and I have found myself enjoying some aspects of certain departments more than I’d imagined.

What is the most challenging part of being a trainee?

The most challenging part of being a trainee is regularly being outside of your comfort zone. From networking events, to attending court, to moving departments every six months (which can also involve moving offices) – no two days are the same and you have to be ready to throw yourself into new waters regularly. However, advice from the other trainees is an invaluable support system as you each face the same challenges and can learn from each others’ experiences.

If you could give your 18 year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Don’t give up! Rejection is an inevitable part of the journey to being a solicitor. For every ten applications you make, nine are likely to be rejected. However, passion, perseverance and persistence will pay off and only makes you appreciate your position as a Trainee all the more.

Tell us something people might not expect from you.

I set up my own business during secondary school called RCubed (which stood for ‘Revise, Recycle, Reuse’). I would buy students’ revision guides and sell them second hand to the younger year groups. I was awarded ‘Most Sustainable’ and ‘Best Business’ at the Young Enterprise Awards in 2014. At the weekends, I am either at Franklins Gardens supporting Northampton Saints or going for a drive in one of the family’s classic cars, my favourite being a three wheeled Morgan Super Sport.

George Iles

Trainee Solicitor, currently in the Private Client Team

Where did you study?

I studied the LLB Law Degree at The University of Sheffield between 2014 and 2017. After 6 months working for Sussex Police and 6 months backpacking I returned to The University of Sheffield to complete my LPC between 2018 and 2019.

Why did you choose law?

A tough question to answer in a few lines! To highlight one reason, I love the problem solving aspects of the job, there is an immensely satisfying feeling that comes with cracking a tough legal question and getting the advice right for the client.

What is the best part of being a trainee?

Being encouraged to get involved in any interesting and difficult work that is going on in my team whether that is by sitting in on a meeting, chatting with a senior staff member or by getting stuck in to a part of the work – no matter how little prior knowledge we have a point of law – we are welcomed to get involved.

What is the most challenging part of being a trainee?

Organising your diary! I’ve taken to spending a good 20 minutes at the start and end of each week to make sure I am on top of everything going on. It can be hard balancing work for different members of staff and making a call on how best to prioritise your workload.

If you could give your 18 year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

It is OK to get things wrong. Whether that is in an application, an exam question or a judgment in the office. It’s a cliché but we do learn so much from our mistakes and every negative experience can improve our character if we reflect properly on our decisions.

Tell us something people might not expect from you.

In my younger days I starred as an extra in the hit 2009 film St Trinian’s 2

Jessica Rayns

Where did you study?

University of Teesside for undergrad and De Montfort for LPC

Why did you choose law?

I was previously in the hotel industry and being treated very badly by my employers. I began researching employment law and found I enjoyed it. Also the release of Legally Blonde made me realise that I was more intelligent than I gave myself credit for and I could follow a law path if I wanted to.

What is the best part of being a trainee?

Learning a new area of law that you haven’t necessarily studied before. Or, conversely learning how what you learned in theory is applied practically.

What is the most challenging part of being a trainee?

Learning new things constantly and knowing when to ask for help. That fine line between trusting your own judgment and knowing when to run it past a more senior colleague.

If you could give your 18 year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Do not party so hard and study/apply yourself more!

Tell us something people might not expect from you.

My dream alternative job would be to work with animals, mainly wild cats in Africa and conservation.