Emma Richards is a first year Trainee at Rollits in Hull and her first seat is in the dispute resolution department.
My route to Rollits
My education started at St Andrews Primary School in Kirk Ella before attending Hull Collegiate School (recently renamed as Tranby). I obtained a music scholarship on entry of Collegiate and finished year 11 with a solid set of GCSE’s.
Throughout my teenage years, I had wanted to be part of the mounted police division. I soon realised that I was far too scared to do such a job and my interest turned to the ‘safe’ side. I intended to leave Collegiate for Wyke College to study law but the year that I intended to do this, Collegiate began to offer Law as an option for A level.
I stayed at Collegiate and opted to study Law, Music and Art. Despite never really being particularly academic, I immediately clicked with Law and found it really enjoyable. I went on to win the Law Award at Collegiate during year 13.
It was around this time that I began farming part time in addition to my studies and developed a passion for agriculture. When I first started studying A level law, I had no idea that there were so many areas of law. I thought I would always do criminal law. I quickly discovered that there may be a way I could cross over the two things I enjoyed most at the time - farming and law.
After achieving an A* at A level law, I attended the University of Hull to study LLB Law. I didn’t really have the ‘typical’ student lifestyle. I much preferred being in the working world but I knew that I had to do the degree to get to where I wanted to be. Throughout my degree, I carried on farming on the days that I didn’t have to be in uni and would often take my uni work and complete it sat in a tractor which for me was brilliant. University wasn’t a brilliant experience for me however I’m still happy to have completed my degree with a 2:1.
In addition to this, I completed several work experiences in the legal sector throughout my degree to ensure that this career was really what I wanted. I completed placements at Ropes and Gray in London, Park Lane Chambers in Leeds, 3 Raymond Buildings Chambers in London and Sandersons Solicitors in Hull.
After my undergraduate degree, I attended the University of Law in Leeds to undertake the Legal Practice Course with integrated MSc in Law and Business. This course was done through the pandemic so despite being academically surprisingly easy, it was nonetheless quite demotivating and I was more than ready to just start my career with Rollits.
I (successfully) applied for the Rollits training contract in September 2019 whilst sat in a pea field during Birds eye’s pea season. I distinctly remember looking into the firm and seeing that the firm had strong agricultural connections and intentions to progress this department. It reaffirmed my reasoning for starting a career in the Legal Sector.
Aside from law, in my spare time, I spend a lot of time walking my dog (Bella) and spend 5 days out of 7 in the gym training. I play the violin, starting at the age of 3 and a half. I obtained grade 8 distinction and have since had multiple opportunities to play with the BBC symphony orchestra in London. I enjoy clay shooting and generally being in the middle of nowhere! During lockdown I started my own artwork business, which grew as a result of my social media platforms expanding and has enabled me to be self-employed through the pandemic.
What it is like starting a training contract with Rollits?
The first month here has gone scarily quickly. Everyone has been very welcoming and I feel as though I have settled in incredibly quickly. Everyone has been very helpful and answered any questions that I have.
The first week consisted of various inductions, learning how to use the Rollits system and getting acquainted with all of my colleagues. As mentioned, it has been surprisingly easy to settle in and has been significantly less stressful than I expected.
I attended the Old Hymerian Dinner at the end of my first week which was slightly daunting but provided an excellent opportunity to meet a range of people and begin networking within the legal sector. In addition, Rollits held a wine tasting event which was a great opportunity to chat to colleagues in a less formal setting. It’s been really great to get to know the other trainees too, we all seem to get on well.
My first seat is in Dispute Resolution and has completely taken me by surprise. During the Legal Practice Course, I particularly disliked studying Dispute Resolution but I’m really enjoying it in practice. I love the varied nature of the sector and I particularly enjoy the contentious aspect to it.
So far I have been doing a range of work such as research, drafting letters, drafting forms, client phone calls and client emails. It’s really great to finally get some hands on experience.
I am really enjoying my start to working at Rollits and enjoying working within the Dispute team who have been really friendly and I am looking forward to the upcoming months to see how things progress.
Want to apply?
If you would like to apply to be a trainee at Rollits, please visit our Training Contracts page.