Trainee Solicitors

Former Trainee Solicitor 2010 – 2012 – Now resident Will & Probate, Commercial Property and Private Matrimonial Solicitor: Mrs Sophie McCadney

Profile:

Traditional Entry

(Law Degree, Legal Practice Course)

* Letting Agents background

Following successful application for our Trainee program Sophie joined us in an admin role before becoming our newest Trainee Solicitor on the 1st July 2010 . Qualified and Admitted to the Roll of solicitors on teh 1st February 2012.

Pre Training Statement 2009 – 2010

I am pleased that I have been given the opportunity to settle in at Whatley Lane and learn new things prior to the start of my training contract. There is always someone to ask if I have a problem. Being based in the office’s main reception area means I get to see our clients first and hopefully I give them a welcoming introduction to our Firm. I think it is really important to make people feel at ease when they come to see us. My previous experience in lettings means that I know customer care and approachability are essential when greeting both new and existing clients.

The overlapping period with Whatley Lane’s current Trainee Solicitor Fiona is a great idea, she has been in my situation and she has lots of tips that she passes on to me. Seeing her do her training contract has given me encouragement that I will be able to complete mine.

Outside of work I enjoy cooking (although I do not profess to be particularly good!) and to socialise, often at the same time!

I am not originally from Newmarket but have enjoyed moving here and finding new ways to entertain myself at the weekend. I am particularly fond of going to the races and am bemused at particular aspects of country life – you do not see horses trotting around in Cambridge!

I love to go rollerskating once a week and generally spend my remaining free time with my husband, family and friends making day trips and spending quality time together.

Former Trainee Solicitor 2008 – 2010 – Now resident Litigation and Employment Solicitor: Mrs Fiona Borley

Profile:

* Mature student
* Entertainment and telecommunications background
* Speaks Spanish to an intermediate level

Seats in:

* Residential Conveyancing
* Crime
* Civil Litigation (including landlord & tenant, employment and debt recovery)

Statement of Training – Qualified on the 1st April 2010

I completed my Training Contract on 24 March 2010 and was admitted the Roll of Solicitors on 1 April, I try not to regard the date as an ill-omen! I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to stay with Whatley Lane on qualification and I was particularly pleased to be able to continue to act for clients with whom I have built up a relationship during my training.

Earlier Statement 2008/2009

Completing my Training Contract was a very proud moment for me as it has taken me 11 years to qualify as a solicitor since starting my law degree. The training process at Whatley Lane proved to be seamless right to the end and I was constantly amazed at how much I was learning each day without necessarily being aware of each lesson.

The training and learning does not, of course, end with the Training Contract, the law is definitely a profession in which one acquires new knowledge right up to the day of retirement. Since qualifying I have appeared in the Magistrates’ and Youth courts and enjoyed the new experience and I continue to expand the amount of employment work I am undertaking which requires research into client’s individual business requirements.

I have been a Trainee at Whatley Lane since August 2008, prior to this I worked here as a paralegal for nine months.

At the start of my Training Contract everyone warned me that the time would fly by, I wasn’t convinced, but I have to say that it only seems like a few days ago that I was signing my Contract. Looking back over the past months it seems as if I have learned so much without realising it at the time, surely a sign of a good training programme.

Whatley Lane is a small, tight-knit firm. Everyone needs to pitch in with the running of the firm at some point, but that doesn’t mean that Trainees aren’t given responsibility. You may find yourself covering reception at lunch time and seeing your own clients in the afternoon. Prior experience of office work is invaluable and any suggestions you make will always be welcome.

So far I have completed a seat in residential conveyancing, this included a purchase by Spanish speaking clients and I am now pleased to add such words as sewage and boundaries to my Spanish vocabulary. I am currently doing a combined seat in crime and litigation which is fascinating. While making sure that the necessary seats are covered the firm has been very supportive in allowing me to develop the areas in which I am interested.

The training has been very hands-on. I am usually given a task to do for myself, if necessary I can ask for guidance and it will always be given, but in general the best way to learn really is to do it for yourself. Everyone has been generous with their time, support and patience. ‘Stupid’ questions are dealt with kindly and the odd Trainee wobble comforted. The perfect Training Contract would give you the opportunity to learn, to try things, to get things wrong and to get things right, all without the sky falling on your head. So far my experience is that Whatley Lane give their Trainees all the above opportunities (and so far the sky has not fallen!).

A potential Whatley Lane Trainee should be confident, out-going and have no interest in dieting; the firm has a healthy appetite with fortnightly fee-earners breakfasts, weekly departmental lunches and the odd home-made cake in the kitchen.

Former Trainee Solicitor Mrs Michelle Jenkins-Powell 2007-2008

Profile:

* Mature student
* Female
* Administrative and accounting background

Seats in:

* Residential Conveyancing
* Commercial Conveyancing
* Wills & Probate

Entered into a partial training contract having already completed a criminal seat with another firm

Admitted 15.08.2008 qualified into a Private Client position in another Law Firm.

Statement of Training Post Qualification:

During my time as a Trainee Solicitor at Whatley Lane, I not only learnt the practical side to working in certain areas of law, I also learnt about the general running of a law firm.

With regard to the law, the training style was a mix of very structured step-by-step learning on the one hand and on-the-job learning on the other. Even with the very different styles of training, I now feel confident about working in these areas of law which is the whole point of a Training Contract.

As I embarked on my career in law later in life, my previous experience of working in an office environment was helpful as it allowed me to bring ideas and experience to the firm. Whatley Lane is very open to new ideas and welcomes suggestions from all members of staff.

Even though I was the Trainee Solicitor, Whatley Lane really made me feel part of the fee earning team and this gave me a real insight into the role of a Solicitor within a firm. I also attended all fee-earner meetings, which included breakfast meetings every two weeks.

Doing a Training Contract with Whatley Lane is for the type of person who wants to be part of a team from day one and is not afraid to get involved in the general running of the firm. The firm will also be attractive to Trainees who like an office kitchen to be regularly supplied with biscuits, chocolate and the occasional home-made cake.