What were you doing before you joined the firm?
Fresh out of university I joined a graduate scheme at Admiral Car Insurance, both to gain some useful office experience and to save money to go travelling (I had always regretted not taking a year out before uni). After a year of working and saving I finally set off for 6 months of backpacking with a couple of mates. When the time came for us to head home we decided we weren’t quite ready yet so we made the (excellent) decision to apply for a one-year Australian work visa and spent the next 12 months in Sydney! In Sydney I worked for a medical indemnity insurer in their Claims department, which was a great experience (and enough to tell me the worlds of insurance and litigation weren't for me). When my visa expired I headed back home to do the LPC and here we are!
Ashfords ticked a number of boxes for me. Firstly, it had a Bristol presence (I was resolute that I wanted to give London a wide berth) but still attracts high-quality work and clients. The firm is a full-service commercial firm which means it's able to offer a varied training contract across a range of practice areas. As I hadn’t worked at a law firm previously I was open-minded about where I'd like to qualify and I was eager to try my hand at as many different areas as possible. Ashfords was ideally placed for this. Finally, having browsed the various recruitment publications, the consensus seemed to be that Ashfords was a very open, friendly firm. I attended an interview at the firm and was inclined to agree!
What areas of law have you worked in so far?
My first seat was in Employment. Following that I moved to the world of Corporate law, before finally joining the Commercial Property Team. I enjoyed (rather unexpectedly, if you could have seen me pulling my hair out revising for Land Law) commercial property so much I did a double-seat with the team!
Most interesting case you have worked on?
I worked on a few late-night completions whilst doing my Corporate seat which involved all hands on deck through the night to get the deal over the line. We ended up leaving the office in the early hours of the next morning having got a Deliveroo to help us through. I thought there was something quite cool about the experience, although I'm not sure I could hack it all the time!
What has been your biggest challenge at Ashfords?
When I went into Employment and Corporate, I did so having never actually studied those topics at undergraduate or LPC level. Sadly, this counts for nothing and you are expected to hit the ground running with a solid knowledge of the area. This meant a lot of studying around the job (cramming the LPC textbooks, reading PLC in my spare-time etc.) in order to stay afloat and not get left behind. It can be tough at the start but it's equally as satisfying to look back at the progress you've made since first starting the seat.
What is your favourite thing about working at Ashfords?
The Bristol office is genuinely very friendly. It's small enough so that everyone knows each other and everyone is always keen for a chat. The office is based right in the city centre which makes it easy to pop out for lunch or grab a beer after work.
What is your aspiration?
I've been lucky enough to have been offered an NQ role in the Commercial Property Team in Bristol which will start this September. My focus is on settling into life as an NQ and adapting to the new demands and rigours this will bring. I want to improve my technical knowledge of this area of law and hopefully start to build my own client base - baby steps!