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. 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 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. 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.
If you’ve got the ambition and drive you’ll thrive as a trainee and after qualification. I’ve already had two high profile cases in my first year of qualification. I was supported and supervised throughout and published my first article in ‘Family Law Week’.
My next personal goal is to become an accredited ‘Children Panel’ specialist. I’m already well on my way. 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. It’s not ‘all work and no play’ either. There’s an active social life with regular social events.