Trainee Solicitor Recruitment 

Trainee Q&A

If you are considering a career in Law it is important to make an informed choice. We asked a current trainee to share her thoughts on life at JMW so far. Hannah Atkinson is set to quality in September 2015.  

•           Why did you decide to become a lawyer?

I had always veered towards law. Ultimately, I wanted a job that would be fast paced, dynamic and challenging. It was important to choose a career that would prove both rewarding and exciting, so becoming a lawyer felt like a natural choice to me.

•           How did you get a place at JMW?

 I applied for my training contract with JMW as an external candidate. Having submitted my application I was then called for an interview and undertook a placement week whereby I rotated across different departments. I then had a final interview with the managing partner and secured a training contract.

•           Why JMW?

JMW fitted my profile perfectly. Ideally, I wanted to work for a medium size, full service law firm, in order to get a good grounding in several disciplines of law at an early stage. Having tracked JMW’s growth I was extremely interested in applying to the firm, having seen how innovative and forward thinking they were, I understood how exciting it would be to be a part of that during my training contract.

•           What was the application process like?

Undeniably, all application processes can be demanding however, I felt that JMW had a great handle on how to get the best out of their trainee applicants and really understand their potential in relation to the firm.  The interview was relatively informal, and I was put at ease immediately by the Partners leading the interview and allowed the opportunity to raise questions to gain an understanding about what JMW was looking for from their trainees. The rotation across different departments was actually extremely useful and didn’t feel like it was a lengthy interview, rather an opportunity to demonstrate my capabilities. Each department was welcoming and I was made to feel like a member of the team.  The whole process was conducted very smoothly.

•           How does the JMW training contract work on a day to day basis?

I am afforded a great deal of responsibility on a day to day basis. However, I have also been provided with a good level of support and guidance from supervisor across each department. My supervisors have been keen to ensure that I have been allocated with a diverse range of work and given the opportunity to attend client meetings and training programmes. Each department varies in terms of the nature of work being set, although each department I have been in so far (Industrial Diseases and Employment), has been stimulating and challenging.

•           What are the best bits about being a trainee at JMW?

Each day is a learning curve and I feel like I am constantly developing my skills. JMW is an evolving and dynamic firm which suits me well as I enjoy embracing new challenges. The quality and diversity of work I have been exposed to so far, has been impressive.  I gained a wealth of useful experience, including attending the Royal Courts of Justice and numerous other Court and Tribunal cases.

On a separate note, I have made great friends at JMW and the trainees are very close knit. We are a sociable bunch and the week nights are filled with trainee gatherings.  

•           What skills have you developed since being at JMW?

I have developed an array of skills. Apart from general legal knowledge, I feel my confidence has been boosted considerably. I have developed key presentation and public speaking skills and also the ability to network with potential new clients.

•           What did you do before?

During my LPC I worked as a Paralegal for Chafes Solicitors doing debt collection work. Immediately following my LPC and prior to commencing my training contract, I briefly worked as a Paralegal for Pannone in the Hale office, before it closed. I dealt with conveyancing, wills and deputyships cases.

•           How did you gain work experience?

Basically, I flooded firms across Manchester and Cheshire with my CV and covering letter. I then secured work experience at Cobbetts, Addleshaw Goodard and Maidments Solcitors. In reality, I also relied upon personal contacts to help initially to get names of individuals to redirect my CV to.

•           What did you study and where?

I studied Law at the University at Sheffield and then went onto the College of Law in Manchester to complete my LPC.


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" Interview hints and tips can be found in the links below. Good luck with your application and we hope to see you as a future trainee at the firm. "

Richard Powell - Head of Personal Injury and Traineee Scheme

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