Brodie Ross is currently in the final seat of her training contract at Lester Aldridge. She shares with us her journey into law, what attracted her to LA and her experiences of working at the firm.
Please share with us your journey into law.
I decided that I wanted to become a solicitor whilst in secondary school so it was quite early on. I studied A-Levels in Law, English Language and History at college before moving on to study Law at Cardiff University. After finishing university, I started my legal practice course at the University of Law Guildford campus, which I studied full-time. I applied for a training contract at LA and was offered one in August 2017. I was then also offered a paralegal position by LA in the Litigation and Recoveries department prior to starting my training contract.
Tell us about your seats so far at Lester Aldridge.
During my training contract, I have completed seats in Real Estate Development, Marine, Litigation and Recoveries. I am now in my final seat, Commercial Dispute Resolution and Interventions. All of my seats have all been really useful in developing my skills and enabled me to confirm that I am now looking to qualify into litigation.
How does the seat system work at Lester Aldridge?
We receive an email in the run-up to seat rotation that provides the seats that will be available for the next rotation. We then have to submit our choices by ranking them in order of preference and include a brief explanation as to the reason for our choices. I have been quite lucky and managed to get one of my top choices at each seat rotation.
What area of law do you enjoy the most?
I have particularly enjoyed marine law. Before starting my training contract it wasn’t an area I had ever considered, probably because it is so niche and it is not something that I came across during my degree or my legal practice course. Whilst it is a niche area, the work was extremely varied and I really enjoyed that I was doing something different every day.
What attracted you to the Lester Aldridge trainee scheme?
The size of the firm and the fact that this did not impact the varied work that LA do. I had attended interviews and assessment days for a few firms but when I visited Lester Aldridge for my training contract interview I felt comfortable straight away. Everyone was really friendly and I felt like I could be myself from the get-go, which was really important to me.
How did you prepare for your trainee solicitor interview?
I read up on the firm and about the areas of law that LA offers. I also prepared myself for standard interview questions by writing down examples of things I had done that showed certain competencies e.g. organisation/good communication skills.
What’s the best thing about training at LA?
The people. Everyone I have come across during my time as a paralegal and also during my training contract has been so approachable and welcoming. The firm as a whole is really sociable (albeit Covid has impacted on that) and I have spent lots of time with colleagues outside of work.
How would you describe the culture at LA?
Non-hierarchical and supportive. Everyone is always happy and ready to help irrespective of their position, and you can always learn something new from the people in your team.
What are the development opportunities like at LA?
I can’t comment personally as I haven’t had to go through this process yet, but I understand that there is a clear development procedure whereby you make an application when you consider you are ready to progress. We receive emails from the HR team regarding submitting applications for promotion so it is quite transparent.
Do you have any tips for trainees just starting their training contracts?
Be open-minded about seat choices. From my experience and others, I have spoken to, you can do a seat that you would have never considered/didn’t think that you would enjoy but come out at the end loving it. It’s important not to write areas off just because you weren’t that keen on them during your education as they can be really different in practice.
Thank you, Brodie!
Training contracts at Lester Aldridge
Applications for training contracts starting in 2023 at Lester Aldridge are open from 1st April – 30th June 2021.
Find out more about graduate training contracts at Lester Aldridge.