Sharona completed her degree in Law with Criminology at the University of the West of England before accepting a training contract with RPC. She began working as a paralegal at RPC in 2018, the year prior to commencing her training contract
How did you get your job?
I applied for RPC's Bristol training contract while studying the Legal Practice Course. I was offered the training contract for the following year and so I asked whether they had any paralegal positions available for me in the meantime. They had a vacancy for a paralegal in their Property & Casualty team and so I worked there for the year leading up to my training contract, which was great to gain experience and get to know the firm.
What is a typical day like as a trainee solicitor?
On some days I will log on to find an urgent task, such as drafting documents to be filed ahead of a looming court deadline, which will take up my entire day. On other days, I will spend some time sifting through emails and responding to fee earners who have asked me to carry out various tasks. Typical tasks will include attending and making a note of conferences and hearings, drafting documents and preparing research for blogs or training events. There is always time for a coffee with a colleague and a workout.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The range of people I get to work with. There is great communication among RPC's employees throughout all of our offices and it is great to be able to work with so many wonderful people, and great lawyers too. The great atmosphere at RPC makes the training experience all the more enjoyable.
What are the challenges?
When it is very busy it can be a challenge to manage my case load, particularly when carrying out several tasks which are all urgent. This is definitely something that gets easier over time, as you learn to create your own system to organise your workload. However, it can still be quite challenging when there are lots of looming deadlines.
How do I become a solicitor?
- Firstly, and most importantly, try and get some work experience at a law firm. Qualifying as a solicitor is a long process and so it is important that it is something you definitely want to do before making the timely and costly commitment.
- Take a look at firms which offer paralegal and solicitor apprenticeships (such as RPC). Apprenticeships can be a great alternative route to qualifying as a solicitor and are generally funded by the firm. You can then decide whether you want to qualify via the apprenticeship route, or go to university and apply for training contracts.
- Stay positive and maintain resilience. The process can be gruelling, but the end result and the extremely exciting and rewarding career will be worth it.
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