This article is a sequel of sorts, to a Q&A that Zak Khan put together recently.
In that article, Zak provided an overview of the placement programme; and outlined his experience.
In this one, Greg Cooke, who is also on a placement year at the firm, answers some similar questions to Zak and gives his perspective of the programme.
What have you learnt during your placement?
The bulk of my experience comes from the Conveyancing Department at Frettens, where I’m currently completing my placement year.
Working in property has given me a fantastic grounding for all areas of law. Simply put, I have gained actual real-world experience in the legal world.
The most important thing that I have learnt is that dealing with clients and maintaining good communication is just as important as knowing statute or case law – something I couldn’t have picked up on at Uni!
What type of work have you been given?
My work within the conveyancing team requires me to deal with sale, purchases, remortgages etc. relating to properties.
Having such a broad and varied workload is so beneficial to me and prevents boredom – something which students at other law firms might face when given tasks that aren’t challenging and don’t help develop skills.
How has the work helped develop your skills?
My work requires me to deal with most aspects of sales and purchases. This can involve dealing with client or solicitor queries, researching niche areas of property law or talking with clients to make sure they are happy with our work.
I’ve been made to feel like a regular employee and not ‘just’ a placement student, there’s no expectation for me to get everyone’s coffees and teas or to do all the tedious work no one else wants to!
What is the atmosphere like at Frettens?
Frettens have made me feel very welcome and included throughout my time here. I haven’t felt like the odd one out in my department at all, Frettens is a young firm with a lot of recent Bournemouth graduates who have made me feel very at home here.
Also, there are a lot of work social events that really help you get to know everyone – which is really helpful, especially when you are first starting.
How did Frettens help you get up to speed with things?
Frettens have been very welcoming and kind during my time here.
Everyone has been patient and more than happy to teach me anything new during my first couple months here while I got up to speed with not only how the conveyancing world works but that of the legal world in general.
What benefits come with working at Frettens?
There are constant social and networking events that are paid for you to attend. The flexible approach to work hours means I don’t worry about being 5 minutes late in the morning. The pay is also very competitive in comparison to a lot of placements in the area.
What advice do you have for me?
If you’re considering a placement year, I say go for it.
It’s always great to stand out from the crowd – especially when it comes to legal students. Undertaking a placement year and getting actual legal experience will certainly make you more memorable!
If you’re set on a placement year but haven’t found a firm yet, I can thoroughly recommend Frettens.
From my own experience, Frettens has been a great place to start my legal career. They have been friendly, helpful and a fun place to work. I have been taught a lot but never once felt overwhelmed or unsupported.
Placements at Frettens
We are currently looking for two students to join us for our year-long placement programme starting in the summer.
In the role, you’ll work with various legal departments which will provide a great grounding for all areas of law.
Find out more about the programme 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.