From Legal Assistant to Trainee Solicitor
Will Dennis, currently a Legal Assistant in the New Homes team tells all about his journey to successfully being offered a training contract at the firm in 2020.
What route did you take to becoming a trainee?
I read law at Bournemouth University and completed a four year sandwich degree. I had the opportunity to work for a legal technology company in London during a placement year and I enjoyed my first experience of working life. When I graduated from university, I was keen to get an insight in to working in legal practice and I joined Coffin Mew as a Trainee Legal Assistant in the New Homes Team. I have worked in the New Homes Team for 18 months and during this time I have gained invaluable experience that I can utilise when I start a training contract. The New Homes Team is dynamic and exciting. I am glad that I had opportunity to hone my skills before starting a training contract. I am returning to education to complete the Legal Practice Course in 2019 and I start a training contract in 2020.
What you have enjoyed about working at Coffin Mew – what opportunities you have had, what are you looking forward to when you start as a trainee solicitor?
I have had excellent client exposure during my time as a Trainee Legal Assistant at Coffin Mew. Regular client contact enabled me to gain confidence and develop essential ‘‘soft skills’. I was trusted to pioneer a Business Development role, with the Director of New Homes, where I met with Sales Managers and Directors for large housebuilding developers in the UK. It was a fantastic opportunity and I learnt the importance of managing relationships and securing new business.
I have been involved in a variety of sports and charity events at Coffin Mew. I am part of the five-a-side football team and I have played in a charity rugby sevens tournament and also a charity netball tournament. I thoroughly enjoyed the events and it was a great way to meet colleagues from other offices and departments.
And any advice you might have for future trainees?
You come in to contact with lots of different people working in a law firm, therefore it is important that you are confident and personable. You can demonstrate these qualities by having examples of participating in sports teams, being an active member of a society or helping out with charity events. If you are working currently, it can be beneficial to show that you have participated in work events. Taking the initiative to organise an event is an excellent way to distinguish yourself from other applicants and it shows enterprise, enthusiasm and organisation.