Honoured to be given a two-week work experience placement, I left GoodyBurrettknowing that Law was definitely the career path I wanted to pursue. My ambition to study Law is attributable to many reasons, including the urge to contribute to an ever-changing industry. After my studies I aspire to become a Barrister.

My time at GoodyBurrettconfirmed this decision as it was insightful, educational and a thoroughly enjoyable experience. One thing that stood out for me is the way I was sought out to partake in practical assignments that would contribute to the firm- not just small errands unrelated to the career such as organising an office or making tea for clients- and I was encouraged to throw myself into it all, even tasks that I had no prior knowledge or experience of.

In the two weeks of me being here I was exposed to Property, Family, Civil Litigation and Wills&Probate Law, only some of what is on offer at GoodyBurrett. All the departments were engaging and provided good guidance with any tasks they set me, allowing me to understand my strengths and weaknesses outside academia. Some of the responsibilities I was given included:

Covering at the Reception                     This is the place that clients first enter, where meetings are organised, where payments are taken, where important letters and documents are delivered to and so much more. I quickly learnt that working at the Reception required adept multi-tasking skills. Tasked with communicating to multiple clients and colleagues, this experience helped to build my confidence when interacting with adults. After this experience I must commend Heather and Shelly for their regular work at the Reception.

Attending Office Meetings/Presentations                   On one occasionI was invited to an office presentation where one of the UK’s leading laboratory organisations came in to discuss DNA, drug and alcohol testing for court-directed purposes. As I watched the various technical apparatus and testing demonstrations, I remember being amazed at the capabilities of technological advancements. This presentation was certainly a testament to how the industry of Law is evolving, one of the reasons for my intrigue in Law. On another occasion, I got to experience a seasonal meeting that the firm coordinates.

Attending Client Meetings                   The departments of Family, Civil Litigation and Wills&Probate kindly welcomed me into their workspaces, informing me of the structure of their day-to-day work and inviting me to attend their client meetings which allowed me to experience this first-hand. I can say that no client meeting was even vaguely similar and every case was fascinating. After each meeting, I was instructed to collate the bundle of notes I had taken in order to write up an Initial Attendance Note. This was a new experience for me and similarly I discovered that each department formatted theirs slightly differently. The end result was very rewarding and it alerted me to how people are personally affected by the work of lawyers.

Writing Letters and Articles                    Tasks such as this greatly improved my written communication skills and even my ability to time-manage. Whether it was writing to existing or prospective clients, writing on behalf of companies or at one point writing to younger students, I engaged in every matter all of which drew upon different fields of Law. For this reason I was able to to develop my knowledge in some of the areas of the Law I was not so familiar with. I also subsequently gained a better understanding of how to draft a legal document.  

Conducting Research                    In an industry that is constantly developing, due to the introduction of new laws and policies, it is important to keep up to date. I was allocated multiple research tasks whilst I was here and sometimes I was requested to transform the research I had done into an informative write-up, such as my blog entry regarding First Voluntary Registration. Conducting research was useful to me as I gained some relevant legal knowledge. 

Administrative Duties                    Having an understanding of how an organisation functions was all part of the experience for me. Aside from the academic task I was assigned, it was important for me to attain a realistic feel of a working environment outside school walls and I know I was able to achieve that here. Some of the duties included: sending office notices to colleagues, assisting with the organising of events like ‘Prosecco on the Lawn’ and dealing with documents and letters. This enabled me to have a well-rounded experience of what it is to have a career in Law.

All in all, work experience at GoodyBurrettwas brilliant. Full of a range of responsibilities and new opportunities, this experience has given me a renewed enthusiasm to do the best I can going into my second year of college in order to study my chosen course, Law. I hope to remain in contact with all the friendly staff here. A sincere thank you to everyone that helped to settle me in and trusted me with responsibilities. Thank you!

Work experience is more than worthwhile. If in doubt of your interest, suitability or simply what a career entails then embarking on work experience in the relevant field is informative and chance to develop your vocational and interpersonal skills. Not to mention, having working experience may be what sets you apart from an equally-matched candidate who is applying for the same job as you. A 2017 survey revealed 93% of business leaders want compulsory work experience to be reinstated in schools. Now 2019, it is likely this figure has appreciated so why wait until (or if) this is enforced to find a work placement for yourself? GoodyBurrettis a wonderful, welcoming firm to do so.

Nicole Emeka-Ugwuadu

For more information on work experience at GoodyBurrett

Contact our Colchester Office on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]