We visited the Bromley offices of Judge & Priestley Solicitor to catch up with four undergraduate law students who were on placement with them
Judge & Priestley have welcomed several students into their team for work experience for several years as part of the Employability Points scheme. This summer they will welcome seven students in total, and we were lucky enough to visit on a week in August when four students were on placement at the same time: Zalnickia Dickenson (2nd year Law), Emily Faulkner, Jireh Akandwanaho and Kamila Ziemianek (all 3rd year Law). Students who are offered work experience with them are given the opportunity to choose the two areas of law that interest them the most and spend a week in each of these teams at the firm. This year, students will largely be spread across family law, commercial property, client services and debt recovery teams.
J&P are a large firm, with over 200 staff spread across three offices in South London. A tour around the largely open plan four floors of the Bromley office certainly gave us an impression of a warm and welcoming environment across the different teams, which was something that all four students reflected when we had a chat with them. They all agreed that the people in the firm were really friendly, and they have been given plenty of opportunity to pick the brains of paralegals, trainees, associates and partners alike. They have all used the chance to talk to team members about the different routes that they took into law, which has given them some ideas and guidance about what their next steps will be after graduating.
The work that the students have been involved with in the different departments has been varied. They have been drafting forms for court and learning more about the process and procedures in court – some being lucky enough to attend court if their placements have been timed well with certain cases – and have been shadowing team members for client meetings, and spending time doing in depth research to support cases. They all highlighted the importance of getting work experience to develop beyond what a degree offers a student – for research tasks in particular at J&P, they were able to apply the knowledge gained from their studies to very good practical use.
Robert Davis, a Partner at J&P, has been keen to work with the EP team these past few years and to continue supporting students for placements in the future – the teams at the firm are always very happy with the quality of the students that come to work with them, and they certainly find it helpful in looking for future talent at J&P. If you’re thinking about getting work experience with J&P or a similar firm, take the advice of these four students and sign up to the EP Scheme! As they suggested:
“start gathering points by doing plenty of activities in your first year to get a head start on it before you get too busy in your second and third years. The activities help you in the long run and you can roll over your points to spend on opportunities in your second and third years. Just go for it – it’s definitely worth it!”.
Find out more about Judge & Priestley on their website.