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It has been the most rewarding and eye-opening experience of my academic journey so far and has also furthered my personal development.
Picture of Ocean Rattigan

Tell us about your placement:

Firstly, I amended my CV and Cover Letter to fit the placement that had been advertised on the Work Based Learning approved placements section and sent them to the University email. I was then accepted for the position and contacted the firm directly with my tailored CV and Cover Letter to organise a date to meet with the members of staff for another interview. This was very successful and I went away to research the firm and prepare for my upcoming placement. My main duties have been reviewing information and drafting legal documents for multiple cases I have been assigned. These have all been in criminal matters as that is what the firm deals with. My most enjoyable aspect of my placement has been attending police stations alongside solicitors which was exhilarating and eye-opening.

What skills have you developed whilst on placement?

My confidence has developed with each new role and task I was given, through meeting new people in high pressure situations. Attending conferences with Counsel on my own with clients is something that I would usually shy away from. However, knowing my co-workers trusted me, when I did attend it was brilliant to know that I could do something like that.

How has your placement prepared you for your future career?

I have spoken at depth with the legal professionals at the firm and in the courts about their routes into their career and this has guided me into the wide range of qualifications that are available after I graduate. I have also been able to network with a wide range of legal professionals. More importantly, it has allowed me to obtain feedback on my performance leading to me now having strong confidence in my judgment.

What were your expectations before starting your placement?

I was very nervous before I started but I knew there was a reason why I had been chosen for the position. I was expecting to be very reserved and nervous but as soon as I found myself doing the work assigned, I never once looked at the time, to see if the day was over as I enjoyed the work so much and my co-workers. I was welcomed with open arms and was trusted with large tasks which made me feel very valued. I was given regular positive feedback on the work I had produced and my contribution to the firm. I expected the position to be demanding and hard work and it was but I have enjoyed every minute of it.

What advice would you give to students embarking on Work Based Learning?

Make use of the opportunity and don’t waste it. Remove any preconceptions that many people have of this module which is that it is five weeks of working with no pay. It is invaluable experience that will shape you and your future career so undertake a placement in an area you love and are interested in as you never know what may come of it.

How would you sum up your placement experience?

Having the opportunity to work alongside the top criminal defence lawyers in Cheshire has been the best introduction to the legal field I could have hoped for. It has been the most rewarding and eye-opening experience of my academic journey so far and has also furthered my personal development. I am unbelievably grateful for this opportunity as it has been truly invaluable.