Career Development

Read our employee's stories about how they have developed their careers at Birkett Long.

Leah Woodnott

Graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in the Wills Trusts and Probate team.

"I joined Birkett Long in 2014 as a float legal secretary which meant that I worked in all of the legal and financial teams in Birkett Long across all of their offices. In 2016, I moved across to the Court of Protection and Inheritance Disputes team as a legal support assistant and in 2018, I was given the opportunity to work as a full-time fee earner in the Wills, Trusts and Probate Team as a paralegal. During my time at Birkett Long, I have completed my Level 3 CILEX qualification and my Level 6 CILEX qualification.

Finding the time to study for exams, whilst working full-time can be challenging, as you have to study in your own time during evenings and weekends. Birkett Long have supported me through my professional development, by giving me two study days per exam, to allow me to focus on my studying. 

A career in law offers of multitude of different practice areas that you can qualify into, with each area of law being so different they attract different types of personalities, depending on the practice area. My time working as a float legal secretary allowed me to work in each of the teams and so I was able to discover which areas of law suited me best.

I enjoy working at Birkett Long as everyone shares the same core values. Everyone at Birkett Long is accessible and approachable which means that they are always happy to help their colleagues out. Our Managing Partner also makes time out of his busy schedule running to firm, to contact us directly to show his support for our hard work and commitment. My team have fully supported my learning development."  

David Feakins

Solicitor in the Wills Trusts and Probate team

"I joined Birkett Long in January 2015 as a paralegal in the Wills, Trusts and Probate team in Chelmsford. I am now a fully qualified solicitor in the Wills, Trusts and Probate team in Colchester.

At the beginning of my Birkett Long career, I was provided with a lot of training from my peers. It wasn’t long before I found myself taking on clients of my own and handling my own caseload. I was offered the chance of starting my training contract with Birkett Long a year or so after joining. As I had already completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) before joining Birkett Long, I jumped at the chance.

I was placed with the Family, Business and Dispute Resolution teams during my training contract. Every seat was different and I learnt a lot during the six months with each team.

I eventually qualified into the Dispute Resolution team and spent a year dealing with a varying caseload. I did, however, miss private client work, having worked in that area for so long prior to my training contract. An opportunity arose in mid-2020, which meant I could once again specialise in Wills, Trust and Probate. Birkett Long were fantastic with dealing with this transition and I have not looked back since."


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Staff testimonials

Career development testimonials