My name is Matilda Powell and I have just completed my second year of Law at the University of Liverpool. Over the past two weeks I was kindly offered a work experience at Irvings Law. I found the experience I gained at this firm highly beneficial because it was the first time I learned and applied practical law and skills required of working in private sector legal environment.
On my arrival at the firm I was provided with a pack and programme detailing information about what I would be doing on my two-week placement. This not only prepared me for what I would be learning each day, but it meant I was never left not knowing what I would be doing. Every day I was assigned to a lawyer who would explain the different stages of the area of law and then assign me different tasks to complete. I must express my sincere thanks and appreciation to May Lee for taking time to prepare, organise and manage my placement and to all the solicitors and trainee solicitors that took time out of their busy days to spend time with me. I am aware of other law students who have gained a year’s placement and have not received the same amount of quality time and attention that I received at Irvings.
At my time at Irvings I gained invaluable experience of the day to day work of a private sector law office. I spent most of my time with the trainee solicitors who were very helpful dedicating hours of their time to explain the different processes relating to personal injury and medical negligence claims. This gave me an insight into the work of trainee solicitors which was very useful particularly as it is likely I will be doing similar things that they were explaining and having to do. I learned how to use quantum which involves looking at JC guidelines and Kemp and Kemp in order to estimate general damages. I also learned how to quantify special damages and draft a schedule of loss and damage. During my time at Irvings I was in involved in the practical application of law which included drafting claim notification forms, directions, case plans, particulars of claim, witness evidence, statements and complaint letter. I also attended a few hearings and conferences with Counsel. This allowed me to see the claim process first hand rather than purely having it explained to me and reading about it. The conferences also helped me understand the sort of client contact that personal injury and medical negligence cases require. I have always wanted to be involved with lay clients compared to companies and businesses, so it was interesting to see how solicitors and barristers alter their approach when speaking to them, making sure the law is explained to clients in simple but clear language.
All the solicitors, trainee solicitors and support staff at the firm were warm and welcoming and went out of their way to answer my questions and explain information to me. Some even asked me if I wanted to come along to extra conferences believing I would find this interesting and beneficial.
The experience I had at Irvings opened up an opportunity to understand this area of law that I had never even considered. I found this area very interesting and am potentially going to pursue it. It highlighted to me that the more diverse your work experience areas the better and to push yourself into areas that wouldn’t initially interest you because they can actually be the areas you enjoy the most.
I am very thankful to all the people who made my placement at Irvings so enjoyable and educating.
Author: Matilda Powell