Inside a national law firm

After entering and subsequently winning a 2013 commercial awareness essay competition organised by Clarke Willmott, Paige Jones was awarded a week of work experience, primarily alongside the corporate law team at the firm.

I had an inkling as to what to expect from my week as I have always been interested in corporations and how business works. I was hoping my week with Clarke Willmott would confirm my decision to aim for the path towards becoming a corporate law solicitor, and I couldn’t have been more right.

After being welcomed by a trainee solicitor in the corporate team and one of the partners at the firm I was set up in the corporate law department to begin my week.

My first day involved examining a share purchase agreement and going through the components of the agreement with a trainee solicitor. I then went through a shareholders agreement and was asked to write an informative article to educate people on what shareholder agreements do, how they work and the impact they have on a company.

The second day began with me assisting with the amendment of a loan agreement with a value of around £1 million. On the third day I was situated in the social housing department, where I examined trial bundles involving issues such as nuisance neighbours. I was able to offer my opinions and predictions on how the cases would have unfolded.

On the fourth day I found myself in the employment law department where I wrote an article on the subject of ‘whistleblowing’ policies for the firm’s monthly client newsletter.

I was back in the corporate law department on my final day, where I assisted with more loan agreements and gained some very useful tips for my CV from a trainee. Overall, my week with Clarke Willmott was a fantastic and insightful experience.

However, the highlight of my week was being invited to drinks that evening with some of the trainees at the Hampshire Junior Lawyers Division. I was able to meet and chat to junior lawyers from all over the county who offered me their advice and intellectual conversation. Hearing all about their experiences and the different routes they took in order to get where they are today deepened my understanding and made me all the more determined to follow the path to becoming a lawyer.

Although applying for work experience and competitions during university may seem impossible (especially with the never-ending demands of a law degree!) it’s the best thing you could do and I would strongly advise students to reach out and go for every opportunity that comes their way. The more experience you have the better, and you will be more than thankful for it in the long-run – I know I am!