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    Working with us – What is it like to be a Trainee Solicitor at Steeles Law?

    We aim to develop and train high calibre practitioners who are more than just lawyers.  We see our trainee solicitors as the company’s future. It is important to us that trainee solicitors thrive in their working and training environments. To give you a better idea of what your role, training schedule and job responsibilities may be we asked some of our solicitors who qualified with the firm about what it’s really like working at Steeles Law.

    James, Employment Solicitor

    James joined Steeles Law as a paralegal in February 2016 and went on to complete his training contract with the firm, completing seats in the company commercial, dispute resolution and employment teams. He now acts as a qualified solicitor within the employment team.

    Q1. How long have you worked at Steeles Law?

    I’m now in my fourth year at Steeles Law, having initially joined the business law team in 2016 as a paralegal and subsequently qualifying into the Employment team as a solicitor in August 2019.

    Q2. What is it like working at Steeles Law?

    There is a really collaborative working environment at Steeles, with all the individual teams encouraged to work collectively as one ‘business law’ team. As a result, being a paralegal meant I was involved in all aspects of the varied work we took on. One day I might be assisting the Disputes and Resolutions team with a high court claim, the next I was assisting a Corporate Commercial team on a multi-million pound share sale. I was always made to feel like a valued and well regarded member of the team.

    There is also a real variation of clientele. As both a paralegal and a trainee solicitor at Steeles I had the opportunity to gain a wealth of experience early on by being exposed to clients immediately. I was trusted to advise national Plc’s, high net worth individuals, local sole traders and charities. The sectors we advise on are equally diverse, from the motor racing industry to food manufacturers – Steeles covers it all, so no day is ever the same as the last!

    Above all else, there is a great work life balance and we are generally only expected to work long hours when absolutely necessary. My typical day would start at 9am and end by 6pm.

    Q3. What attracted you to apply for a position at Steeles Law?

    I had already met and worked with a couple of lawyers from Steeles and found them to be down to earth and friendly, so I knew I would enjoy working there. Steeles was also well known for creating high quality and well rounded lawyers, as they tended to prefer investing in their current staff rather than hiring talent externally. I was attracted to this as I thought it would give me a genuine chance to work hard and progress my career from the bottom up.

    Q4. What in-house training and support do you get?

    Steeles supported me while I studied for my LPC, allowing me to reduce my hours so I could work part-time and take plenty of study-leave during the exams.

    There is a large amount of online training and professional development material available for staff. We also have regular team meetings to discuss our workloads and any issues we’ve found challenging. As we work in an open plan office, you can always approach colleagues for specific guidance or advice.

    Q5. Do you have a career highlight?

    One of my personal career highlights at Steeles so far was as a trainee in the employment team. I assisted a disabled claimant on a pro-bono basis over a three year period while he brought unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. Not only did this give me appeal court experience, we won the case and ended up gaining a life changing settlement sum. Making a positive difference in people’s lives was the reason I pursued a career in the law, so this was a particularly rewarding experience for me.

    James Conley | Employment | Solicitor | Norwich | Steeles Law

    Katherine, Wills, Trusts and Tax Solicitor

    Katherine joined the Private Client team as a paralegal in 2014 after graduating in the same year from the University of Lincoln.

    Q1. How long have you worked at Steeles Law?

    I have worked at Steeles Law for 6 years. I started in 2014 as a Paralegal in the Private Client team and became a Trainee Solicitor in 2018 undertaking seats in Private Client, Family and Conveyancing. I qualified as a Solicitor into the Private Client team in April 2020.

    Q2. What is it like working at Steeles Law?

    Very busy! As a paralegal and trainee, I had a lot of responsibility. Particularly in the Private Client team, I had my own clients and managed my own case load. It was great experience for a junior lawyer and the best way to learn.

    Q3. What attracted you to apply for a position at Steeles Law?

    Whilst studying Law at university, I had a particular interest in the law of succession and knew this was an area I wanted to pursue. I felt very lucky that a Paralegal position in the Private Client team was being advertised and after some research about the firm, I knew it was somewhere I wanted to work. The Private Client team were well respected with many years of experience and so it was the perfect place to learn and gain experience.

    Q4. What in-house training and support do you get?

    I have received a huge amount of support from Steeles Law during my training. They have supported me through my LPC (which I undertook part time whilst working full time) and my training contract. All members of Steeles Law are approachable and I have never felt like I couldn’t ask a question. As a Trainee, I was given a large amount of responsibility and it was important to be able to get support and assistance from senior colleagues when you need it.
    In house training is provided by senior members of the team in relation to updates in your area of the law. The Private Client team have also been provided with dementia training and all members are Dementia Friends.
    Steeles Law has a subscription to a Webinar service which provides a wealth of training videos in a huge variety of areas including updates on specific legal areas and general areas such as Money Laundering and the Solicitors Accounts Rules.

    Q5. How much interaction with clients did you get as a Trainee?

    I dealt with client’s everyday. Starting with new enquiries, you are the first port of call the client has with the firm and it is therefore important to make a good impression.
    As I progressed and gained more experience, I started taking on clients of my own and would undertake client meetings under supervision. It was a great way to put the skills you learn on the LPC into practice and nothing feels better than receiving great client feedback at the end of a matter.

    Q6. What was the transition like between a trainee and a newly qualified solicitor?

    For me, the transition was easy as I had gained great experience from being a paralegal and a trainee. Managing my own case load wasn’t anything new to me as Steeles Law had already trusted me with my own clients. The major change however, has been the slight shift in client expectations. As a Trainee, it is more acceptable to tell clients that you will have to check something but as a Solicitor, the expectations are higher which can feel a bit scary.

    Katherine Bearman | Wills, Probate & Tax | Trainee Solicitor | Diss | Steeles Law

    If you’d like to join us and be part of our success, please contact Mike Hickford, Practice Manager at MHickford@steeleslaw.co.uk or HR@steeleslaw.co.uk.