Name: JEREMY NASH
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
I finished university and I started a PGCE at Newcastle University. I didn’t enjoy the course and although it was a difficult decision, I decided to drop out. I spent the next few years wondering what I wanted to do. I was working in hospitality when the opportunity arose to undertake some legal work experience at a firm in Newcastle. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and felt that my skills were well matched to a career in law. I wanted to do something that was intellectually challenging, would develop me as a person and most importantly give me the opportunity to help people.
Why Hay & Kilner LLP?
A friend of mine did the vacation scheme at the firm and they said that the firm was really friendly and they got to experience many different areas of law. Not being a law student entering the legal world was a bit daunting at first. To hear that a firm were really friendly encouraged me to apply. Living in Newcastle is fantastic – it’s cheap, there’s loads to do and I had a brilliant experience up here at university. Hay & Kilner is hugely proud of its presence in Newcastle and the North East and I really wanted to join a firm who have a great reputation in the place I have chosen to call home.
How are you finding your current seat?
I love my current seat. I was initially working in the family team at our Newcastle office where the work is exclusively private. I have since transferred to our Wallsend office and we deal mainly in public law and legally aided family work. I hadn’t really considered working in legal aid, however, now that I have got stuck into the work I haven’t looked back. Every day is different and you get to meet and advise people from all walks of life. The work we do is really fulfilling and it really feels like the work you do is helping your clients.
What were your previous seats?
Do you usually get a choice of seat?
We don’t necessarily get a choice, however we are asked to list our preferences each time it comes to a change of seat. Hay & Kilner do their best to make sure everyone is happy regarding seat choices and for the most part everyone’s choices are accommodated.
What makes Hay & Kilner LLP different?
Hay & Kilner is a well renowned commercial law firm but the team ethos and atmosphere in the office is relaxed and everyone works hard for each other. Hay & Kilner provides a good work life balance for its employees and there is no such thing as a stupid question when you are trying to learn something new.
Talk us through a typical day in your current seat at Hay & Kilner LLP.
I get into the office at around 8am and check my emails. I update my ‘task list’ for the day and make sure I get anything urgent done as soon as possible. I will then usually have a meeting in the office or at court. These will either be with my supervisor or on my own depending on the case. I come back and make sure I have nothing outstanding to do before the following day and leave the office at approximately 5.30pm.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of the job for me is the opportunity to use your skills to help people through what will be some of the hardest times in their lives. I get to meet a wide variety of clients and it really helps you develop as a person, it allows you to get a better understanding of the society we live in which is something we all miss in the bubble of the training contract.
Is there much chance to get involved with Business Development at the firm?
All Trainees at Hay & Kilner get the opportunity to join the Firm Development Group. We are encouraged to attend different events to meet other professionals who are at the same stage of their careers as us. It’s important for us to make contacts and build business relationships.
How much responsibility and client contact do you have as a Trainee?
Each department is different. Different departments are more technically demanding than others which require more stringent supervision. Other departments, like Family require a large degree of client contact such is the nature of the work. Where I am currently provides me with a lot of independence – I run my own case load and meet with clients on my own. I represent clients at court and have done a number of hearings by myself. You get thrown in at the deep end but once you get over the initial shock, you come to realise that it’s the only way to learn.
If you decided not to become a solicitor, what career would you have chosen?
Professional rugby player.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a potential applicant to Hay & Kilner LLP?
Be yourself – firms don’t want generic law students trying to be something they’re not. Getting your personality across at interviews and at assessment centres will go a long way to securing a training contract.
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