Work experience blog - Donna Barnett

Donna Barnett

I have just completed the two weeks professional work experience programme with Rollits and I had a brilliant, useful and insightful two weeks. I applied to do the programme with the intention of seeing how a large commercial firm operates and also to confirm some of my questions and queries regarding which electives to take on my LPC which I am commencing in September this year. As my career ambition is to work within a large commercial firm and I did my degree at the University of Hull Rollits was the perfect choice being a very prestigious law firm that offered hands on experience and was in Hull; which is the place I still consider to be home.

The work experience placement consisted of a number of elements with three different 'seats' being the principle structure, therefore it was treated like a mini training contract. We also received numerous talks while we were there and did a marketing task and a presentation which all worked together to provide a fantastic insight into not just the law, but the overall business of Rollits and also worked to develop and strengthen a number of key skills.

I arrived at the Hull office on Monday morning feeling slightly nervous but excited for the forthcoming two weeks; my nerves were immediately eased upon meeting my fellow work experience colleagues who were all extremely friendly. We were then introduced to Mark (a Partner) and Libby (a current trainee) and were then taken on a tour around the office. During this tour the open door policy became evident with every member of staff, despite how busy they were, being happy to say hello and extend us their luck for the experience. I was then taken to my first seat which was in Company and Commercial. I was extremely excited about this as this was a great area of interest of mine and I was immediately made to feel welcome. I was provided with a variety of work over the next three days including; compiling a file, drafting minutes for a meeting, completing a stock transfer form and doing numerous research reports on such topics as whether shares can be reclassified and how to modify an employee's terms and conditions of employment.

On the Wednesday we received talks on finance, administration and IT. These talks proved to be both entertaining and extremely useful in providing an insight into the full workings of a law firm. I was given the opportunity to ask a number of questions which were all answered and I feel that I gained a lot of useful information which will help me a lot in my future career.

The following three days were spent in my second seat, Dispute Resolution. I found this seat to be extremely welcoming and very hands on. Upon arrival the first morning all members of the team welcomed me and I was provided with a wide variety of work from the trainee, associate and partner. This work included things such as; looking through an ongoing case and drafting a letter for issue of proceedings, drafting a parking notice and doing a number of research reports on such things as what can be defined as a 'genuine business need' and into a current high profile media case. The work done in this department was so varied and interesting that I found a new love for dispute resolution as it was something that really grasped my attention whilst I was here.

On the Monday of the second week we were taken to the York office where we received a marketing talk, prepared for a marketing exercise and were also taken for a lovely lunch! I had the fishcakes which were gorgeous and enjoyed having the opportunity to talk about a number of interesting topics including dogs, baby names and obviously the world of law! With full stomachs we headed back to the office and presented out marketing exercise, which we did in girls v boys teams which made it all the more fun. I found it useful presenting our ideas and seeing how marketing works within a law firm, also it was nice to see the York office as it is very different to the Hull one and we got the opportunity to meet a lot of people.

The final three days were spent in the property department which I also really enjoyed. I was looked after by the current trainee Sam who was extremely helpful and provided me with a large variety of work including: Drafting an AP1 form, completing an SDLT form, doing a SIM search, amending a number of SDLT forms, writing a notice of underlease and compiling two pieces of information gathered through looking through two separate case files. I found the work provided here to be the most hands on and Sam was extremely helpful in coming in and guiding me through the forms and showing me what a typical day for her was like. I was also taken to the weekly meeting where there was a guest speaker which was fun! On the Thursday we also had the daunting experience of doing our presentations, after they had been the topic of many nervous discussions between the other work experience students and myself I must say that I was feeling quite excited but also anxious about presenting mine on three items I would take to a desert island. However, the experience was fun and my presentation, which included such things as an iron man suit, received a few giggles which I was relieved about!

I had such a fun and useful two weeks at Rollits and I would like to thank everybody there for the experience. It has been very useful and provided me with so much information and a brilliant insight into the areas and firm in which I aspire to be a part of. I would definitely recommend this experience to anybody pursuing a commercial legal career.

August 2013

Posted on: 20/08/2013

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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