My legal career began in 2015 when I enrolled on the Graduate Diploma in Law at the University of Law in Moorgate, having completed a degree in Business Management at the University of Sheffield. Having been previously unsure of the career path that I wanted to take, a module in my third year, Law for Business, inspired me to study law.
The Graduate Diploma in Law, or GDL, is essentially a crash course in the law. It is an intensive, 10-month long course which covers what LLB students cover in three years and allows you to convert your non-law degree into a qualifying law degree and be eligible for a place on the next hurdle on the route to becoming a solicitor, the Legal Practice Course. The GDL can be gruelling, but it’s a great way to ‘catch up’ with LLB students in under a year if you decide later on that a career in law is for you.
After finishing the GDL, I applied for paralegal jobs, and was offered a job at an international law firm specialising in personal injury litigation. I enjoyed the work and gained valuable experience, but I quickly decided that I was better suited to a different kind of law firm, where I could gain a more hands-on experience and greater client contact. I applied for and secured a paralegal position with FJG, and started in August 2017. The role was in the healthcare team, where I assisted with the sale and purchase of dental practices for clients all over the UK.
I started the part time LPC shortly after starting at FJG. All aspiring solicitors must (currently) take the LPC, which is more practical and less theoretical than a law degree or the GDL. The LPC is divided into three parts- core practice modules, elective modules and skills. The part time course was spread over two years, and I had classes every other weekend. Fitting in studying around work was challenging, especially around exam times, but I found that working at a law firm put the course into context and aided my understanding.
Two years after starting at FJG, I am now three months into my training contract, which I accepted in April this year. I am still working in the healthcare team, and am due to move seats in January 2020. Overall, it’s honestly been a long, hard slog to get here. But, through gaining paralegal experience before securing my training contract, I feel more comfortable in my own abilities and clearer in my career goals. There’s a lot of pressure to secure a training contract in the second year of a law degree (or before starting the GDL), but this isn’t the only way to a life in the law, or the best route for everyone.
FJG attract applicants for training contracts via various different routes and encourage application at all levels from capable, dynamic, talented and bright people. If you fit with our ethos, we will fit with your aspirations.
Make initial contact with Fisher Jones Greenwood by calling 01206 700113 or emailing [email protected].
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