Two students who went on work placements at Thursfields Solicitors have both ended up with full-time jobs as paralegals.
Rhiannon Bartlett arrived on work placement in the summer of 2019 and impressed the Midlands law firm’s lawyers so much that she was recruited as a legal assistant with the Residential Property team in Kidderminster later that year.
The same happened with Kiran Kaur Shinjin, who also had her work placement at Thursfields in 2019, and has recently started as a legal assistant in the Residential Property team in Solihull.
Michelle O’Hara, managing director at Thursfields, said: “This is a great example of how law firms can provide access to the legal profession and invest in future talent.
“We are thrilled that both Rhiannon and Kiran joined us through this educational route and we’re sure they’ll both go on to become successful in the legal world.”
Ms Bartlett, aged 23, from Kingswinford, gained a Geology/Geography degree at the University of Birmingham before taking a Graduate Diploma in Law in 2018, and is now studying a Legal Practice Course.
She said: “In other placements, I just shadowed fee-earners, but Thursfields was really engaging, with mixed sessions getting us all involved and helping us make future careers choices.”
Ms Bartlett explained that she saw an advert and applied for her current position while on the placement, which helped her to get the paralegal job.
She said: “Going on the placement showed I was passionate about law and clearly interested in working for Thursfields.
“Since getting the job, I started off learning the basics and quickly progressed to assisting on all elements of conveyancing transactions, particularly assisting running sale files.
“I now want to secure a training contract and become a solicitor, hopefully at Thursfields!”
Ms Shinjin, also aged 23 and from Wolverhampton, graduated from the University of Wolverhampton with a first-class degree in Law, achieving Distinctions in both her Legal Practice Course and her Masters in Law.
She described Thursfields’ placements programme as a “most insightful yet enjoyable” time and “quite different” to any other legal work experience.
She said: “I enjoyed how practical the week was set out, with each day consisting of informative talks on different areas of law.”
Ms Shinjin, who then became a legal assistant at Thursfields at the end of 2020, added: “I’d ideally like to progress onto a training contract, hopefully qualifying as a solicitor.”
Grace Terry, business support manager at Thursfields, assists the internal Junior Lawyer Committee, which runs the placements programme.
She said: “Our placements programme offers tasters of various areas of law, and develops soft skills such as communications, teamwork and negotiations, along with a session on CVs and application tips.
“Both Rhiannon and Kiran’s hard working and positive attitudes really stood out during their placements.
“Since joining Thursfields, Rhiannon has continued to impress, showing herself to be a real team thinker, and she’s now vice-chair of the Junior Lawyer Committee. Obviously, Kiran’s only just joined us, but we look forward to seeing her quickly progress in her role.”
Thursfields hopes to plan another placement programme later this year, COVID-19 restrictions pending. Anyone interested should watch the company’s websites for details.