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Trainee Talks: Meet our new Trainees

Annabel Rowland, Tom Lattimore and Eleanor Gobey answer our questions about what it was like to work as Paralegals before beginning their training contracts with the firm this month. Over to Annabel, Tom and Eleanor...

Where is your first seat and where were you before?

Annabel: I started at BPE in July 2021 where I was a paralegal in the Residential Property team. I then moved to the Commercial Property department for 4 months before starting my training contract in the Employment team. 

Eleanor: My journey at BPE began in October 2020 as a paralegal in the Commercial Property Department. I have learnt so much during my first two years at the firm and the Commercial Property team feels like one big family. I was delighted when I was asked to remain in Commercial Property for the first seat of my training contract!

Tom: I joined the Firm in March 2021 as a paralegal in the employment team. It was my first legal role and the Firm made me feel very welcome. I have now commenced my first seat in the Science and Technology Team.

What are you most looking forward to whilst being a Trainee?

Annabel: I am most looking forward to developing my skills and learning how each department works at BPE! I’m unsure of which area of law I would like to qualify into so I can’t wait to find the department that is for me!

Eleanor: I am excited to get an insight into the different practice areas BPE has to offer, learning from a wide range of talented colleagues and applying the skills I have already gained to different legal areas. Having already experienced a transactional department, I am particularly looking forward to trying a litigious seat such as Employment or Litigation!   

Tom: I am most looking forward to the opportunity to further develop my legal skills and discover which area of the law is the right one for me.

What has been the best thing about being a paralegal?

Annabel: Being a paralegal at BPE has given me the best head start for my training contract and has allowed me to develop my admin and drafting skills, alongside learning how to tailor my organisational skills to the team I'm working in. Being a paralegal in the property department before starting my training contract has allowed me to work with a lot of people and partake in a wide range of work. 

Eleanor: I thoroughly enjoyed being a paralegal at BPE. I have assisted on a wide range of transactions, and I feel like I have gained a great foundation of knowledge. BPE really believes in its paralegals and trainees which is evidenced by the of responsibility you are given early on in your career (if you want it!) and support is always on hand should you need it. I now feel well-equipped to start my training contract.

Tom: The best thing about being a paralegal is the insight it gives you into life at a law firm and the role of a lawyer, given that paralegals work very closely with (and are heavily relied upon by) senior lawyers. The role also serves to allow you to hone your skills (such as communication and attention to detail) before commencing the training contract.

What is your favourite memory of BPE so far?

Annabel: My favourite memory of BPE so far is my first ever social – the summer party 2021. I was very new at BPE, but I remember feeling so welcomed and everyone was so kind. It was a very fun evening and ever since the socials have continued to get better ! They’re a great way for everyone to come together and to get to know other people in different departments at BPE.

Eleanor: Despite only being here for two years, a lot of memories spring to mind. But my favourite would have to be narrowed down to either one of the summer parties, ping-pong tournament or the annual summer BBQ!

Tom: So far, (aside from the frequent socials!) my favourite memory has been working closely with partners on high profile matters. Given how closely trainees and paralegals work with partners, the exposure to high quality work is excellent.

Give one piece of advice for a candidate for a TC at BPE

Annabel: Be yourself – they want to see the real you and not the you that you think BPE want to see! This will also make the whole process a lot easier for you.

Eleanor: Don’t be put off if you have limited legal work experience, the firm understand this is not always easy to come by. Make sure you highlight all your other achievements and experiences! Transferable skills gained in other job roles and sports teams make you stand out from the crowd and gives you a well-rounded skillset.

Tom: Reach out to a current trainee or a paralegal and ask them if they would  share their experience at the Firm with you over a coffee. We are always open to this and it would be a great way for a candidate to understand the Firm’s culture and the work we do.

These notes have been prepared for the purpose of articles only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.

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