Imagine my delight at getting a 2:1 on my law degree and a distinction on my LPC! But I quickly realised that the competition for getting a training contract would be fierce. I’d heard nightmare stories about people making hundreds of applications without success. My personal circumstances were also complex as I have young children and my husband is a soldier on active duty. Finding the right firm for me was as important as finding that elusive training contract.
Selectivity was key. I decided that it was not about which firms would consider me to be suitable, but which firms I would consider as suitable for me.
I knew I wanted to do family law and in the South West, so I started scouring firm’s websites. I wanted ‘hands on’ training which few firms provide. Royds Withy King stood out for me as the firm with the ethos I wanted, one combining expertise and professionalism with a focus on clear, common-sense advice. In the end I only made one application! My friends thought I was crazy but I knew Royds Withy King was right for me.
I started in 2008 and qualified in 2010 with seats in personal injury, clinical negligence, family and employment. I was always supervised by the partner who headed the department. The training was very ‘hands on’ and gave me the chance to carry out my own advocacy several times during my training contract. I was always supported whether running my own case load or when helping the partner with their cases. Since then I’ve gone on to achieve my Higher Rights of Audience and continue to appear in courts on a daily basis.
If you’ve got the ambition and drive you’ll thrive as a trainee after qualification. I had two high profile cases in my first year of qualification and have a varied and incredibly interesting case load. I was supported and supervised throughout and have published articles in many publications including in ‘Family Law Week’.
I had set myself a personal goal to become an accredited ‘Children Panel’ specialist and, with the support and guidance of my department head, was appointed to the Panel in May 2013. I was also promoted to Associate in July 2013 and, with a clear career structure and objectives in place, I have recently been promoted to Partner. I now manage the Childcare team in the Swindon office which allows me to gain management experience which I thoroughly enjoy.
Royds Withy King understands that investing time in my development will pay dividends in the future. It even extends outside my own department. It really is a supportive and nurturing culture here.
It’s a fantastic place to work: great training, support, experience and a close relationship with partners and staff.