My journey to becoming a qualified solicitor
Potentially the biggest step in your legal career when striving to become a solicitor is the final stretch; completing your training contract.
Lisa Kane, who works on our medical negligence team officially entered the roll in July 2020. We spoke to her to find out more about her journey into law and what comes next for her as a fully qualified solicitor.
Congratulations on qualifying! How are you going to celebrate?
I plan to take a trip home to Ireland once the travel restrictions are lifted to visit family and friends where we will have a celebration (socially-distanced of course!)
What are you most looking forward to now you have qualified?
I am looking forward to providing excellent client care to those who suffered life-changing injuries as a result of medical negligence. I have always had a keen interest in this areas of law. I feel I can make a real difference to people’s lives by helping them settle their claim and draw a line under that difficult part in their life.
I hope to continue my career in the clinical negligence industry and look forward to gaining more exposure to a wide range of different cases, whilst improving my existing skillset with the support of my wonderful colleagues.
What challenges did you face during your training contract?
One challenge I faced was transitioning between departments to enhance my exposure to different legal areas. I have also faced difficult emotional conversations with clients who have experienced family bereavements or severe medical trauma, however, I have successfully dealt with these conversations with excellent feedback. This has helped to improve my interpersonal skills and build relationships with clients, which is vital for case progression.
I have always embraced challenges and feel they have made me a more versatile solicitor who is happy to apply my knowledge from these experiences to any new challenges that may arise.
Why did you choose Hampson Hughes to complete your training contract?
I began my employment at Hampson Hughes in July 2015 as a paralegal and I immediately felt at home with my team, who helped me settle into the role straight away. My colleagues also supported me throughout my studies over the following years and were always on hand to offer guidance during my progression in the firm.
Hampson Hughes is a leading name in the legal world with a focus on client care, so I knew that the firm was the right place for me to obtain my training contract!
What is your greatest achievement at Hampson Hughes?
My greatest achievement to date as a trainee solicitor was successfully challenging a provisional assessment costs award where the defendant, a Grade A Solicitor with over ten years’ experience, had made an application to strike out a default costs certificate as he had failed to comply with the relevant practice direction.
I had to draft a series of lengthy written submissions to the court based upon the Civil Procedure Rules, case law and the defendant’s conduct. During the application hearing, the court ruled in my favour and awarded my costs of the action in addition to enforcement fees totalling around £12,000 for the firm.
I was very pleased with this result as my opponent was vastly more experienced than me, yet I was able to successfully demonstrate to the court that his conduct was improper and the outcome was a great victory for the firm.
Finally, what piece of advice would you give to aspiring solicitors?
My best advice would be to try and gain as much exposure as possible to a variety of different areas of law during your training contract. This will provide you with a better understanding of which area you want to pursue once you are qualified, whilst also giving you the opportunity to learn new skills and broaden your knowledge of the legal industry!