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Kirsty B - Work Experience Student 2012

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I applied for work experience with Birkett Long LLP in order to gain the experience of working in a fast paced and long-standing specialist firm. Having just finished a four year Law with American Law degree course at the University of East Anglia, I was well aware that in order to progress and make your stamp in the legal world, aside from academic achievement, gaining valuable work experience is key.

To my delight I was accepted for one week of work experience at the Colchester branch and was subsequently placed in the Family Law Department. Having studied Family Law both at my home university and abroad (Cumberland School of Law, Alabama) I knew that this was a subject I had a great interest in. Not only is it a fairly accessible and interesting area of law but it is also personable and far-reaching as sadly marriage breakdown and divorce are common place in today’s society.

During my placement I performed a number of tasks, much more expansive than any other work placement I have been on. There was no photocopying or filing, rather my supervising solicitor, Lisa Collins, very much wanted to give me a practical work placement by allowing me to view the divorce process from commencement to end. I was able to draft up the documentation necessary for divorce proceedings as well as practicing how to fill out the necessary additional paperwork. I was also able to sit in on client interactions and peruse client files. A highlight of my week was definitely witnessing a Court application for interim care orders; something which before now I had only read about in university textbooks.

It was great to see how the law is truly applicable on a day-to-day basis and to be genuinely welcomed into a pleasant and approachable place of work. I would highly recommend applying for a work placement at Birkett Long LLP and gain a practical look into the working lives of professional and friendly solicitors.