01482 778 463

We're here to help 01482 778 463

CLAIM ONLINE
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Career insight: working as a solicitor

Career insight: working as a solicitor

Students and graduates trying to build a career in law can often feel overwhelmed by the competition. We asked two of our solicitors to share their experience and advice for those hoping to work in the legal sector.

Hayley Collinson and Simon Wilson are both solicitors at Neil Hudgell. Simon acts as joint Head of Clinical Negligence, dealing with both medical and dental negligence claims. Similarly, Hayley Collinson is a solicitor from our clinical negligence team.


Q: What’s the most interesting part of your job?
simon
Simon: Piecing together a case from the client’s recollection, then reviewing records and medical reports. Clients can have many volumes of records and a full review can take hours. You need to be able to spot the needle in the haystack. One page out of thousands may be the key, so you need to be analytical and have powers of concentration!

Q: Were you always interested in becoming a solicitor?
S: I had an interest in law from a young age. From about 12 I wanted to be a solicitor. In particular, criminal cases on the news always fascinated me. This was fuelled by big criminal trials such as Peter Sutcliffe’s (the Yorkshire Ripper) and the Dennis Nilsen trial.

Q: How did you set out on the path to become a solicitor?hayley
Hayley: I decided to take law at A Level, along with history, English language, English literature and general studies. I do not believe A Level Law is a pre requisite for a law degree, but it helped me feel confident in choosing it over an English degree.
I always felt that I was more suited to becoming a solicitor, so after university I went on to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at the College of Law.

S: Following my degree (LLB Hons Law) I was lucky enough to get a place at the College of Law at York to do my LPC which I did in the following academic year. I had by then secured a training contract which I went into straight away. I qualified in 1996.
When I first set out I wanted to learn about criminal law. That has changed to the extent that I have never practised criminal law – I started working in clinical negligence on qualifying and it fascinated me.

Q: Are there any common misconceptions around what you do?
H: Clinical negligence lawyers can come under scrutiny in the press, especially regarding pay-outs that are made by the NHS in clinical negligence claims in both compensation and legal costs.
The term compensation culture also frustrates me: why should someone who has genuinely suffered injury and loss, be prevented from seeking compensation? When something goes wrong with medical treatment, it can often have a profound impact on the person concerned and their family.
S: Yes, the misconception that it’s all about the money, or that we are ambulance chasers. This is often reinforced by government and the media. We are not very good at defending ourselves as a profession ironically! Our focus is on helping clients.

Q: Do you think certain people are more suited to becoming a solicitor?
H: I believe for clinical negligence you need to be analytical and have good people skills but I do not think there is a specific type of person suited to becoming a solicitor. I am confident there is a firm and specialism suited to every prospective solicitor who has the drive to secure a training contract.
S: You need common sense as well as intelligence – they are really not the same thing. In my field of clinical negligence you need analytical skills and determination to get the best outcome for your client. Litigation lawyers are usually argumentative by nature.

Q: How can applicants stand out?
H: I think non-legal work experience can be important, especially at the start of your career when you want to get your first legal role. Working in retail or a restaurant demonstrates that you are hardworking and have good people skills. Do not be afraid to mention these in your application, alongside legal work experience placements.
S: Do something different. Interests such as reading or going to the cinema are ten a penny. Do some community work; get some sports coaching badges, things that make you interesting to someone who sees 20 CVs a week. Work experience helps, it shows you are committed.
There are many applicants for every job so you need to show commitment and enthusiasm for the law. When interviewing, though, the main thing is personality: yes I need to know people have the knowledge, but I need to know they will fit in with my team, too.

Q: What do you think is the most important piece of advice for graduates and students?
H: Firstly I would say do not give up, it is not always easy to become a qualified solicitor given the number of graduates each year, so be prepared when you embark on your LPC that you may have to do a paralegal or assistant role before you secure a training contract. It is also not likely you will get the first contract you apply for, just keep trying.
I would also recommend that law graduates start applying for training contracts the summer before they start their final year at University because some contracts are advertised two years in advance. Work experience placements can also be a great way to secure a contract.
S: Be certain it’s what you want to do, then be determined to get to where you want. It is hard work and you need drive to succeed. You will get knockbacks and it is how you recover from those that matters.

If you would like to contact our careers team, or wish to enquire about current vacancies, email us at recruitment@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Hayley Collinson

Team Supervisor and Solicitor, Clinical Negligence

hc@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request a callback from a solicitor

 I am an existing client.









What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very good and friendly people

"Very good and friendly people"

Mr Nisar Ahmad Ahmadi

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent advice throughout

"Excellent advice throughout, kept up to date at all times, Would highly recommended"

Alan Beaumont

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

very helpful from the start

"very helpful from the start. Kept in touch to keep me up to date with… "

Miss Felicity Warrack

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

A solicitor that listens and doesn't judge.

"I hope I never have to go through anything like it again but if I… "

Linda Nicholson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Thank you for your support especially …Jade

"Thank you for your support especially by Jade again you for understanding my case. Graham… "

Mr Graham Eccles

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Renu could not have been …

"Renu could not have been better,excellent service"

Mrs Jane Jones

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Professional first class company

"Professional first class company"

Mr Davies

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Before instructing Hudgells we couldn't …

"Before instructing Hudgells we couldn't even extract an apology from the defendant so to come… "

Joanne

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great service

"fr endless staff made the process easy, great communication throughout. Would recommend."

Jimmy

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Amy Wilkinson has been very profession …and

"Amy Wilkinson has been very professional and patient with my enquiries also very helpful, so… "

Sharan Hatch

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Happy Chappy.

"I was kept up to date with any changes, treated with respect and honesty and… "

James

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Professional and officiant at all times. Communicating regularly and prompt replying. Highly recommend, will definitely… "

Mrs Iwona Tovar

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I would recommend this company to …

"I would recommend this company to anyone very helpful and quick they kept me up… "

Mrs Clare Kett

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Impeccable service and results

"Impeccable service and results, very informative & helpful, thank you for everything!"

Miss Isabelle Jowett

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Professional and helpful service

"Found the service and advice from my contact at Hudgell to be very professional and… "

Sue

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

1st class service …

"I can not fault them kepted me up to date with what was going on… "

Mr Mark Ward

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Thank you very much for your help with …

"Thank you very much for your help with sorting my case against London Police. Very… "

Mr Greg K.

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I found Hudgell Solicitors to be absolutel professionals

"I found Hudgell Solicitors to be professional from start to finish, helpful, approachable and honest… "

Vanessa T

Rated 9.2 out of 10 based on 326 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

© 2017 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90