Work experience blog - Julie Ginnever

I have just completed the two week professional work placement programme offered by Rollits LLP. Whilst researching law firms in my local area Rollits instantly became one which stood out to me. I applied for the vacation scheme with the intent of gaining a true insight into the workings of a law firm whose reputation is largely respected within the community. I was therefore delighted to hear I had been selected for a place on their professional summer work experience programme. Having applied over 7 months ago I was somewhat nervous but also excited to begin the two weeks placement.

Upon arriving at Rollits LLP I met my fellow work experience students and we immediately became acquainted. We were then greeted by Ed Jenneson (a Partner) accompanied by Jaspaul Dhesi (one of the current Trainee Solicitors). We were briefed on what the two weeks had in store for us and opportunity was provided to ask questions, instantly we were made to feel welcome and any nerves I previously had were put at ease. After housekeeping was addressed we were provided with a tour of the brand new open plan offices (which I have to admit where rather impressive). Having gained knowledge of the layout of the firm, who people were and where they were situated we were directed to our first seat.

The structure of the two week vacation scheme at Rollits is designed in such a way to give insight into what life would be like as a Trainee Solicitor at the firm. Our time was subdivided into three seats: Dispute resolution/Private Capital, Property and Company/Commercial/Employment enabling us to gain insight into various legal departments and the variety of work Rollits engage in. Each department gave direction towards pre-planned tasks comparative to the work being completed by the solicitors in which ever department we were working in at that time.   In addition to this, openings emerged by which we could engage and assist solicitors on their current cases. Whether this be by means of legal research, drafting client letters or any other directive given to us. I for example engaged with the 'Family and Matrimonial Department', on an experience which provided valuable insight into client interaction, something I considered to be very rewarding.

In my opinion the work experience scheme offered at Rollits is very accommodating in providing insight into life not only as a prospective Trainee Solicitor but furthermore it aids comprehension of the requirements needed for the successful running of  a reputable, well respected firm. Rollits is not only a provider of legal services, it is first and foremost a business (a very successful one at that). With this in mind nothing was left unaccounted for and during our two weeks we were given opportunity to learn about supplementary business variables such as marketing, finances, and administration. In addition to the legal and business knowledge gained we were presented with the opportunity to socialise outside of the office, which I felt was equally important in helping us as student's gage what the employee relationships are like in a more relaxed sociable atmosphere. We were kindly treated to our lunch which was lovely! And Donna (a current trainee) also arranged a secondary lunch out for both the work experience students and the current trainees, this provided a great opportunity to socialise and chat to the trainees about how they came to be at Rollits.

During the last day of the work experience I and my fellow work experience students delivered a presentation on a topic of our choice (selected from several topic options presented to us on our first day). The presentations were delivered to an audience of solicitors, trainees and other important figures from within the firm. Although initially nervous, when it actually came to presenting I found this to be an enjoyable experience and one which provided closure on a very unique and informative two weeks. I feel engagement in vacation schemes such as this one offered by Rollits should be a pre-requisite for the practical stage of any aspiring solicitor's career. Theory and practice can be two very different things and only through physical engagement do I believe informed career choices can be made. The hands on experience I gained during my time at Rollits has been extremely valuable and provided clarity in my areas of interest. I would advise other prospective students to keep their minds open regarding the areas they wish to specialise in, as you won't truly know what it's like to work in that department until you have physically done it. 

Throughout my time spent at Rollits I always felt I could approach any solicitor or partners for advice or assistance. Somebody was always on hand to provide answers to my questions (and trust me I had many!) The two weeks spent with Rollits LLP has been an excellent experience and time well spent. At the beginning of this entry I mentioned how Rollits is largely respected within the community and my time spent with the firm has in essence provided a means of authenticating exactly where this excellent reputation has stemmed from. Engagement over these past two weeks has accentuated my admiration for Rollits as a law firm, but first and foremost acknowledgement must go to the brilliant practitioners at its core. The employees at Rollits are a credit to the company, setting a multitude of exemplary precedents for the standard of practitioner I aspire to be. It has been a privilege to work alongside them and I thank Rollits for this opportunity.  For anyone endeavouring to gain true insight into the workings of a legal practice which really is 'more than just a law firm' I would urge you to apply.

Posted on: 25/07/2016

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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