How does a placement year prepare you for a legal career?

As the year starts, many students will be looking to undertake a placement year starting in the summer.

If you’re one of those students, you’ll probably have lots of questions about how placement programmes work, how they prepare you for a career and more.

In this article, Abigail Harvey, current Placement Student at Frettens, answers these questions and details her tips for applying.

What’s it like working at Frettens?

Frettens is a friendly and welcoming firm, and I have felt very integrated within the team in the short time I have been there. This has been made easier as there are lots of opportunities to socialise with colleagues through work social events.

The office has just been refurbished and is modern and colourful, so it’s a pleasure to come into work every day!

What are the people like at Frettens and what sort of support do you get?

As this is one of my first times working in an office, I was unfamiliar with most things at the start. However, everyone has been very understanding of this and have always done their best to help, making it clear that there are no silly questions.

If I am ever under pressure, due to workload or because of a deadline, I know I can talk to my colleagues, and they will always give me support; which is really assuring.

Read about the benefits of our placement programme here.

How has the law placement year prepared you for a career in law?

Frettens is a very young firm and there are lots of people completing their training contracts and going through exams. I have utilised this and have asked plenty of questions about their training and how they are finding it, which has been helpful.

Through working closely with solicitors, I also get to see first-hand what their day-to-day life is like, and what work they do. Something that will certainly help me in the future.

It has also assisted with getting into the routine of waking up early!

Why did you choose Frettens to undertake your placement year?

It was evident from Frettens ‘meet the firm’ event at Bournemouth University that they are a top firm. Many characteristics drew me to applying to Frettens. I liked that they encourage a healthy work life balance, have a flexible approach to work and held plenty of social events.

It was nice to see the firm helping in the local community through their charity work with MYTIME as well.

Greg Cooke, previous placement student at Frettens, outlined what his work involved in the Conveyancing Department here.

Tips for applying?

I think it’s always best to be yourself and let your personality shine through in your Cover Letter and CV. This will then help to generate conversation within your interview and (the cliche) stand out from the rest of the candidates.

It’s important to also make sure you do some research about the firm. This can include looking into their charity work, accreditations, reviews and more.

My colleague Lauren Smallwood has written a dedicated article where she provides tips for applying, including how to write your CV and covering letter. Read it here.

What does your role involve?

During my time with the firm, I have had the opportunity to work in the Commercial property team and have recently joined the Employment and Insolvency team.

Here I undertake legal secretary roles, such as helping with new enquires, scheduling appointments with clients and other various secretary tasks.
My role is very fulfilling, and I have gained a lot from this experience.

If you’d like to here more about the placement programme, you can read my colleague Anisah Alam’s thoughts here.

Placements at Frettens

As of January 2024, we are currently looking for two placement students to join us in the summer.

If you are interested, please send your CV and Covering Letter to our Operations Manager Cat Snow on

Find out more about the programme and when we'll be looking for students again on our dedicated placements page here.

Or you can read our tips for applying, including what to include in your CV and covering letter, here.

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