Employee Story: Lucy Warren
As part of our articles series, Employee Story, our colleagues share their experiences and path into law and their role at Fosters.
Employment team member, Lucy Warren tells us about her background and what it is like to be a trainee solicitor here at Fosters.
How did your academic studies lead you into a career in law?
Whilst studying for my GCSEs and A-Levels at Thorpe St Andrew High School, I decided that I would like to go onto study a law degree at university. I had never studied law before, but felt that it would be extremely interesting and diverse, and it would also teach me key transferable skills that would be useful in any future career.
I therefore completed an undergraduate Law degree at the University of Liverpool. I thoroughly enjoyed this, especially studying topics such as Company and Commercial Law. After a lot of hard work, I obtained a First-Class Honours degree, which is one of my proudest achievements to date. I then went onto study the Legal Practice Course (LPC), alongside a Masters of Law, at the University of Law in East Anglia. This is a compulsory course for those wishing to become a solicitor and it is designed to teach you the practical skills required for all future trainee solicitors. During the LPC, I particularly enjoyed the Business, Employment and Advocacy modules, and managed to achieve a Distinction.
How did you obtain a trainee solicitor role?
Throughout university I completed multiple work experience placements in both private practice and in-house sectors. These experiences gave me a real insight into how a law firm functions on a daily basis, along with the different types of law I could potentially practice in the future. Not only this, I wanted my CV to jump off the page to show that I am self-motivated, as obtaining these experiences involved a lot of phone calls/emails, and showed that I was a proactive. After considering all my options (e.g. location, types of law, different firms) I applied to Fosters. I applied to Fosters because I wanted to work in a large firm, ideally in Norfolk, that provided opportunities for me to learn and grow. It was clear from looking at my studies that I was heading towards a career within the business and commercial area of law, and after meeting the Training Principal and my now head of department, I knew that this was exactly the sort of firm I wanted to work at.
I chose to apply to Fosters for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is the friendly and supportive environment. Everybody is willing to help you, no matter who they are, and no question is a silly question. Not only this, my interest in business and commercial law means that I would be in a Legal 500 recognised team, working with extremely experienced solicitors. I learn so much everyday and also get on with the team incredibly well. In addition, I feel that I can approach any member of staff, no matter who they are, with any queries or concerns that I may have. The supportive culture of Fosters creates a very enjoyable atmosphere to work in and I cannot wait to develop my career within such a fantastic firm.
What is day-to-day life like as a trainee solicitor at Fosters?
I am currently based in the Employment team. My day-to-day work involves drafting contracts, settlement agreements, along with key documents for any upcoming Employment Tribunal hearings (e.g. witness statements, schedule of loss). I also attend client meetings and discuss potential cases with new clients over the telephone. I would say that I have the perfect balance of responsibility, in that I always have the support of my supervisor to check things with, but he also encourages me to create a personal rapport with clients and have confidence in my own work.
How do you know what area of law you want to qualify into?
The training contract is designed to allow future solicitors to experience both contentious and non-contentious areas of law. This will allow you to see where you feel comfortable working and most importantly, what area of law you enjoy the most. I have been lucky enough to be based in our Employment team, which is a contentious area, as a lot of my work is centred round the Employment Tribunal. I will also look to develop some understanding in the commercial law field, of which this will provide me with a taste of non-contentious work. It is hugely important to experience more than one area, so you know what field is best for you.