Mike McCabe and Maria Jewsbury, trainee solicitors in our commercial disputes teams, formed part of a panel of trainees at a Q&A session hosted by City Solicitors Horizons (CSH).
The Stewarts Foundation is proud to support CSH, a fantastic organisation aimed at promoting social mobility and improving access to the legal profession for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Solicitors from Stewarts act as mentors for students interested in a career in the law during their undergraduate studies and beyond, and the firm offers work experience to those on the scheme. Stewarts will be offering a week’s work experience to 25 students throughout 2018.
As the CSH students wanted to hear from people who had successfully made the transition from paralegal to trainee, Stewarts were invited to send two trainees to this Q&A session held on Monday 12 March and kindly sponsored by Linklaters. The panel comprised trainees with a variety of paralegal experience: from working in-house and at magic circle firms to those who had worked and trained at a specialist firm such as Stewarts.
Questions from the students covered a variety of topics including the replacement of the LPC with the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam, the valuable skills paralegal work allows you to hone, ‘paralegal to trainee’ schemes, and the differences between working in a corporate department at a magic circle firm and a litigation firm.
Irrespective of the path students choose, the panel emphasised the need to gain as much practical work experience as possible. Whilst applying to vacation schemes (which should be seen as a one/two week interview) was generally recommended, a range of other approaches were also discussed. Maria advocated writing directly to firms in which students are interested, as she did. The work experience she obtained at local, high street firms in this way helped prepare her for later paralegal work in the City. Mike added that this early experience is often influential in helping you to understand what areas of law interest you.
Over lunch after the lively panel discussion, Mike and Maria were impressed by how engaged and enthusiastic the students were about a career in law.
Whilst every effort is being made to improve access to the legal profession there are still real barriers to be broken down. By supporting CSH, Stewarts is helping to promote access to all.
Find out more about City Solicitors Horizons.
To read more about our Work Experience programme, please visit our Careers pages here.
To read more about the Stewarts Foundation and the firm’s social impact, please visit our Social Impact pages here.