Work Experience Blog – Naomi Bond
I have just finished my lastday on the work experience placement at Rollits in the York office,and it has been an excellent two weeks. I applied to do theplacement at Rollits in order to gain experience and insight intowhat life as a lawyer at a large regional commercial firm is like.Now at the end of my placement, I can honestly say that myexpectations of what I would gain from this experience have beenexceeded beyond what I had hoped for.
The two week work experienceplacement is structured like a mini training contract, andtherefore allows you to spend time in each of the firm's coredepartments. I have also attended a range of informalpresentations, participated in a marketing task, and have given ashort presentation. Overall, this placement has provided me with aclear and unique understanding as to how Rollits operates both as alaw firm, and as a business.
On the morning of the firstday I arrived at the York office with butterflies in my stomach.However, after an introductory session with Sarah Greendale (asolicitor) and Sophie Wheeldon (a current trainee), my nerves wereput at ease. I was then taken on a tour of the office by Sophie,and was made to feel very welcome by everyone. After theall-important health and safety induction, I was given my timetablefor the two weeks and taken to my first seat in the DisputeResolution Department. I was initially quite nervous about startingmy first seat, but everyone in the department was so friendly andwelcoming that I soon forgot my nerves. I was provided with avariety of work over the next three days, including doing a numberof research reports on things such as the consequences forinfringing patents, and whether or not the infamous 'ItalianTorpedo' is still good law. Due to the varied and interestingnature of the work done in this department, I have developed a newfound interest in this area of law.
On the Tuesday I travelledover to Hull by train to attend a range of informal presentations.Once I arrived, I was introduced to Amy Marson (a traineesolicitor), who took me on a tour of the Hull office and introducedme to everyone. I was then introduced to my fellow workexperience colleagues who were all based in the Hull office. Theywere all very friendly, and after getting to know each other we allwent along to the informal presentations on finance, administrationand IT. I found these to be extremely informative, as they providedme with a new and comprehensive understanding, of the extensiveinner workings of a law firm.
My next seat was in theProperty and Private Capital department. I was extremely excitedabout this, as I had thoroughly enjoyed studying property law atuniversity. I found this seat to be very hands on, and was excitedto be able to gain experience working on ongoing client cases. Iwas looked after by the current trainee Sophie who was extremelyhelpful and was always happy to answer any of my questions (ofwhich I had many!). She provided me with lots of varied andexciting work over the next three days, including doing a number ofresearch reports on things such as the procedure for making a claimfor adverse possession, drafting a DS1 and AP1 form, and organisingclient files. I was also given the opportunity to attend a numberof client meetings during my time in this department, and I foundit incredibly interesting being able to observe the solicitorclient relationship first hand.
On the Wednesday of the secondweek, my fellow work experience colleagues came over to the Yorkoffice. We were all given a marketing talk and were then asked toplan and present a short presentation based on potential marketingstrategies that Rollits could use to attract future trainees. I wasvery pleased with our presentation, and felt that our contributionhad been really valued and appreciated. The social side of thingswas not forgotten either as we were very kindly taken out for alovely lunch! I had the burger, which was delicious, but mostimportantly I really enjoyed having the opportunity to get to meetsome of the lawyers and trainees at Rollits outside of the officeenvironment.
My final seat was in theCompany and Commercial department. Once again I felt extremelywelcome and was made to feel a valued member of the team. Whilst Iam yet to study commercial law at university, all the employeeswere more than happy to take time out of their busy schedules tohelp me with any queries or questions I had. During the three daysin this department I did a variety of work including completing anumber of research reports on things such as the steps required toset up a company and what to include in a partnership agreement. Onthe Friday, at the end of the two week work experience placement,we had to make a presentation to members of the firm and our workexperience colleagues. We had been presented with a wide array ofsample questions covering a variety of topics to choose from at thebeginning of the placement. I chose the question, 'Do you have arole model? If so who and why?' I was both excited and anxiousabout giving my presentation, but afterwards I felt very pleasedwith how it had gone, and that the opportunity had definitelyincreased my confidence in public speaking.
Overall, the two weekplacement at Rollits has provided me with an invaluable opportunityto gain a true insight into the firm, its culture and its people. Ican honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Rollits,and would happily recommend and encourage any fellow students toapply to the Rollits work experience programme.
Naomi Bond, 2ndyear Law, York University
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.