Thomas Cocoran 2013 Winner
As I finished my first year as an undergraduate law student I was hoping to gain some experience working in a law firm. Since leaving school over 20 years ago I had worked primarily for one employer and was responsible for managing a group of cafés. It was a position that I had grown into as the company expanded so fitted me very well. However I had serious concerns about how my skills would transfer to the workplace of my preferred profession; Law.
To compound my concerns I am also dyslexic. I had of course been reassured countless times that employers can’t discriminate and need to make reasonable adjustments however, I was concerned about the implications dyslexia may have on my career. I wrote in to Glenda expressing my wish to gain some work experience. Within days she had arranged for me to work with Howes Percival - I was not expecting it to be so quick!
In terms of support on- site, I couldn’t have asked for anything more; I was given a named contact, a schedule had been set up for me to gain a variety of experience, and I was given really useful feedback. This also gave me a perfect opportunity put forward all my questions to people in a more realistic environment compared to work fairs and meet and greet events offered at university. Most importantly, the experience alleviated all the aforementioned concerns and fears that I had. I am now absolutely sure that this is the career for me. I got to meet and work with people who are committed and dedicated to their profession as well as keen to help and pass on their experience and expertise. The people I met were a real inspiration and I felt that they were really honest with their opinions and advice.
I hope to secure a training contract next year with a regional firm like Howes Percival. Upon completion of my legal training I would like to practice either Employment or Immigration Law, both of which tie in to my keen interest in Public law. However, I so enjoyed this experience that I am considering other sectors that I had to all intents ruled out prior to this placement. This experience has opened up my horizons and so I am looking into other areas of legal practice that both suit my aptitude, past work experience and fulfil my desire to practice both challenging and rewarding work.