Work Experience Blog – Robert Craven
I applied to Rollits with theintention of gaining an insight into the work of a large regional,commercial firm and this proved to be an incredibly valuableexperience. I was a little nervous about starting the placement,mainly due to not being familiar with the city of Hull. However,after the two weeks work experience, I had become familiar with anew city plus my confidence had doubled and my desire to work inthe legal sector was stronger than ever.
Upon arrival, we were givenour timetables for the two weeks and it was announced that I wouldbe spending the first 3 days in the Property department, an areawhich I will be studying in my final year at Lancaster University.I was actively involved in the firm right from the beginning, as I was expected to research content for important cases and draftletters to be sent to clients. I was also given some old deeds tolook through which proved to be a very interesting read. Inaddition, I assisted one of the trainees in the Private Capitaldepartment, gaining a unique insight into inheritance tax, willsand probate. In addition to the property work, we were also giventalks on key areas of the business: finance, administration and IT,which highlighted the commercial nature of Rollits.
The next three days were spentin Dispute Resolution, which initially seemed an intimidatingdepartment to work in due to the wide-ranging nature of theservice. My first instinct proved to be correct with many of thelawyers saying that no day is ever the same. It was apparent thatcases are very diverse, sometimes dealing with a breach of contractand other times with a breach of tort. I was again given importantresearch to conduct for the trainee and also introduced to a letterof claim of action in which I was asked to draft. Rollits 'opendoor policy' is engrained in the firm's ethos, the staff promote apositive, friendly and helping environment, making it a welcomingand comforting place for a nervous work experience student. Itseemed that all employees have a genuine mutual respect and trustin each other.
On the Monday of week two, thethree other work experience students and I were taken to visitRollits' York office and whist there were treated to a lunch withthe organiser of the work experience programme. Before lunch wewere given a marketing talk focused on the nature of marketingwithin the firm. We were then asked to discuss potential marketingstrategies for Rollits to attract future trainees. We would presentback after lunch.
We were taken to Masons forlunch, clearly a favourite of the firm and this was evident withthe quality of food! The fish and chips were absolutely fantastic!This was much appreciated and really made us feel part of the teamon a social level and not just business. In the afternoon wepresented back our discussions on marketing and this went verywell. It seemed we were a valuable source of information and ourcontributions were appreciated.
The final 3 days were based inthe Company and Commercial department, where I was placed with theEmployment team. This was an useful experience as I was able tolook at the new rules regarding employment tribunals whilst readingand drafting important documents to assist the lawyers. Thisexperience ignited a new interest in employment law, which I nowintend to study further in my final year at university.
Finally we were asked toprepare a presentation at the end of the two weeks, in which wewould present to our fellow work experience students and anyinterested employees on the final day of the experience. Initially,this seemed quite a daunting prospect. However, after spending twoweeks at the firm, I felt comfortable that the staff would besupportive regardless of the outcome. We were asked to pick a topicfrom a set of sample questions and I chose the question regardingHull City's recent promotion, which asked, 'Is it possible fornewly promoted teams to compete in the Premier League?' Theopportunity definitely increased my confidence in public speakingand I will now be confident to do any further presentations ifrequired.
Overall, the two weeksprovided an valuable insight into a large regional commercial firmand I genuinely looked forward to every day of the experience. Thefact that the placement was organised in a similar format to atraining contract made me even more determined to try and gain atraining contract with Rollits. The values of the firm were clearlypracticed and the responsibility and importance of the traineeswould make Rollits a unique and special place to work. I amgrateful for the opportunity this experience offered and wouldencourage any students to apply to the Rollits work experienceprogramme. It would be a privilege to embark upon a legal career atRollits.
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.