Your Legal Friend has a strong emphasis on supporting and developing staff to reach their full potential. The firm opens up applications for the Training Contracts every two years, applicants then go through an assessment centre assessing skills such as problem solving, organisation, team work and time management. There is also an in house exam and an interview. Successful applicants will then complete a minimum of 3 seats, over the course of 2 years, one of which will be a non contentious seat with BLJ Solicitors.
Your Legal Friend took on 6 trainees in January 2017 who are currently half way through their training contract. We asked Richard Roberts a few questions about the process and his experience so far and this is what he had to say...
What first attracted you to Your Legal Friend in comparison to other firms?
"When it became known that my previous firm, were unable to offer me a Training Contract, I decided that I needed to leave in order to further my career. As I was based in their Clinical Negligence department and the YLF Clinical Negligence Department was highly recommended to me from my previous employers. I was lucky enough that there was a job opportunity available and I was so grateful to YLF for giving me the opportunity to further my career."
How did you find the selection process for the training contracts?
"The selection process was hard but also very enjoyable. The variety of tasks that we had to do really tested our abilities from, team work, problem solving, presenting, knowledge and interviewing skills."
How did you feel when you found out you had been successful?
"When Laura Morgan, Director of Clinical Negligence, and Sara Stanger, Department Manager, told my colleagues and I we had been successful I was extremely happy and felt a massive weight being lifted off my shoulders because I know training contracts are like gold dust and to finally be offered one felt like all the hard work had finally paid off."
How has the company supported you during the first year of your TC?
"The support has been great! I have had regular meetings with my manager who has reviewed my Training diaries. All the Trainees also meet up once a month to discuss how we are getting on which has been beneficial, especially when you have started in a new seat you have no experience in and a fellow trainee has."
What seats have you completed so far?
"Clinical Negligence, an external seat in Conveyancing, and I've just started RTA."
Have there been any highs or lows?
"I really enjoyed my time on my external Conveyancing seat at BLJ in Runcorn. All the staff were very supportive and my supervisor, was a very kind, helpful and supportive when learning an area of law I had no experience in. I now feel confident in running my own files, with minimal supervision."
Where do you see your career going now?
"Once qualified, I look forward to continuing to work for YLF and develop my career here."
What would you say to anyone else considering progressing their career with YLF?
"The firm has a great reputation for furthering professional development whether as a paralegal or qualified solicitor. The opportunities offered to staff in house are vast which gives those who work here an extra incentive to give their best to the firm as they know their efforts will be rewarded."