First class honours student to join Irwin Mitchell on training contract

Sophie Marler, LLB graduate (2023)

What have you been doing since you left Kent?

Since I left Kent, I’ve been studying the Legal Practice Course (LPC) full-time with the University of Law in Norwich.

Tell us about the training contract you have secured:

In August 2023 I will be joining Irwin Mitchell in their Cambridge office having secured a training contract with them in the Summer of 2021. The Cambridge office specialises in personal legal services and so I could be completing seats in areas of work such as serious injury, workplace illness, or public law.

Since receiving my offer I’ve met up with the current Cambridge trainees so I can get to know them, and Irwin Mitchell, a bit better before joining. I’ve also been given information about what to expect in my first week and I’m particularly looking forward to our induction at Irwin Mitchells’ Birmingham office where I will finally meet all of my trainee cohort face-to-face after completing all our vacation schemes and future trainee catch ups online!

Can you tell us how you found out about the training contract and the application process?

I found out about Irwin Mitchell as they attended the Kent Law Fair. Before I went to the fair, I made sure to research the firms that were going to be present to get an understanding of the sort of work in which they were involved. Irwin Mitchell stood out to me because of their success in the area of medical negligence cases, an area I had always been interested in. After having the opportunity to talk one-on-one with one of Irwin Mitchell’s trainees at the Kent Law Fair, I was able to establish connections in the firm who went on to support and advise me throughout the application process.

Can you explain how your time at KLS contributed to your recent successes?

The Kent Law Fair was definitely a very beneficial experience as it was my first interaction with Irwin Mitchell and helped me to establish connections that were invaluable to me going forward.

I feel as though the critical approach to the study of law at Kent has greatly improved my skills of reflection. This has proved useful both throughout the training contract application process and now my LPC.

The Kent Careers and Employability Service was also a great help in preparation for the interview process as I was able to send them information about what the application was for in advance, and they would tailor the questions asked to align to the values and the work of the firm.

Do you have any advice for anyone considering applying for training?

Make sure you research the firms to which you are applying! It’s really important to have a good understanding of the firm to be able to make sure it’s right for you and that their values align with yours. It’s also more than likely that the firm will test your knowledge of them in some way or another and so it is worth spending that extra time to get a deeper insight.

To those studying at Kent I’d also recommend making the most out of the Careers and Employability Service to prepare for the application cycle – get your applications reviewed, go to the skills sessions, and do mock interviews. The Careers Service is invaluable!

It’s also definitely worth getting involved in activities and opportunities that can help you evidence ‘commercial awareness.’ Firms will always be looking for this, even if you aren’t applying for a firm specialising in commercial law. For me, getting involved in the Kent Innovation i-Teams which involved group work to provide solutions to real world business challenges, allowed me to demonstrate an understanding of how businesses work which I could then apply to the legal context. Don’t rule out experiences because they aren’t directly law related – all opportunities available at Kent will offer ways to develop skills that will be relevant to a career in law.