I am currently studying Law at Northumbria University in Newcastle, I have just finished my third year. After my degree I aspire to gain a Training Contract in an independent successful firm such as Stamp Jackson & Procter Limited (SJP Law).
There was a welcoming atmosphere as soon as I walked in on the first day of the Vacation Scheme. I was given organised folders containing an introduction to the scheme, the student exercises, and information about Hull. I was also trained on the IT systems and given my own user account.
Hull is an upcoming city with a lot to offer, and SJP Law is a well-known independent firm in the area. I expected to get a real insight into how the firm operates and how they have achieved their success. I feel that this is exactly what I gained as throughout the experience I sat in the director’s offices, which meant I was able to listen to how they speak to clients and other members of staff. I was encouraged to ask them any questions.
The Vacation Scheme resembled how a Training Contract would be at SJP Law. I did three mini seats in: Company Commercial, Commercial Property and Compensation. Each seat involved completing tasks that the firm had previously undertaken for clients, this allowed me to experience the type of work the firm does and demonstrated the level of quality they put into their work. After completing the tasks I received constructive feedback and advice from the directors.
I have never had the opportunity to look into clinical negligence and personal injury prior to the mini-seat in Compensation, it was very interesting to look through the case files and medical records and see the types of high value cases the firm deals with. I was able to get an insight into how the accounts side of the firm works as each solicitor deals with their own accounts, some of the tasks involved creating invoices to bill the clients.
The difference between SJP Law and other firms is the way they approach their work. They emphasise the need to pay attention to detail and put the client first. I was able to observe the way the different departments speak to their clients and the process from the initial meeting to the case being closed. It was also great to see the work that the firm does for charities and the local area. One of the trainee solicitors visited his old school to tell students about careers in law and members of the compensation team volunteer weekly and give free advice to members of the public during drop in sessions.
Although I was only at the firm for two weeks, everyone still took the time to get to know me. The employees were very welcoming and were very happy to answer any questions I had about the firm, the work they do and about how they came to SJP Law. I had the opportunity to get to know everyone better in an informal setting as I went for lunches with a few of the solicitors and directors. In addition to this, I was invited to attend a night at Beverley Races with the firm, this was a great experience and we all had a lot of fun.
This is a unique opportunity and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in becoming part of a trusted well-established firm like SJP Law.