by Jodie Bradford, Legal Practice Manager
Week commencing 5 September saw our very first (and not last!) virtual work experience week. The programme was open to aspiring solicitors studying law at University and was well attended by a variety of students.
The team put on 10 sessions throughout the week on different aspects of working in a local government legal team. The sessions included Being a Local Government Lawyer, Running a Public Procurement Exercise, Drafting a Privacy Notice, Disrepair Claims, Dealing with a Right to Buy Transaction, Being a Trainee Solicitor in Local Government, Case Management Systems, the Admin Team and Compliance and Being a Local Government Monitoring Officer. We also held a session with some of our clients (huge thank you to Chris Elston, Clare Proudfoot and Barrie Walford for volunteering their time for this one!) and we also gave the students the opportunity to attend the Council meeting in the evening. The attendees were even treated to some homework to complete after some of the sessions!
We had some really great feedback on the week:
“…I benefited greatly from the experience and connected with great professionals. I enjoyed learning something completely new”
“Thank you all very much for working to put this together, it is really refreshing and exciting to be able to gain relevant work experience that is not exclusionary or patronising.”
We also did a closing session on the Friday whereby we received general feedback from some of the attendees that said they enjoyed the variety of the sessions, they felt they were clearly structured and organised and they liked having time between the sessions to do research and tasks. The students also said they liked that you could book onto individual sessions, rather than having to commit to every session which made it easier for those that were working throughout the week and they generally enjoyed where we talked about the local area and the involvement we have in things that go on within the district as people don’t tend to appreciate the work that goes on in the background.
One of the attendees even took the time out of their day to send our Trainee Solicitor a personal message on LinkedIn about her session “Being a Trainee Solicitor in Local Government” and said that her session was “descriptive but not overwhelming”, that Lauren was “positive and upbeat” and that she seems like a “great person to learn from”.
Overall it was a really good week and we were really glad to hear that the students felt they had gained something out of it as a lot of work went into organising the week – we are already looking at running another session next year.