My Training Experience at Hartlaw

My Training Experience at Hartlaw

17 Jun 2019
I started at Hartlaw in March 2017 as a bright-eyed, enthusiastic and eager to learn (if a little naive) Trainee Solicitor, working primarily in the Conveyancing department. I had spent the previous two years working in a conveyancing firm after having finishing my law degree at The University of Huddersfield in 2015.
Starting my training contract in the Conveyancing department, I felt fairly confident that I had sufficient knowledge to be able to do my job effectively. I quickly realised, however, that the knowledge I had gained in the two years prior was limited in the context of the work I was going to be covering at Hartlaw. As a result, I found the work more challenging than I expected, but with the support of the Property Team, and in particular one of the partners Matthew Seldon (head of the Business and Property department), I began to deal with a broader spectrum of work. Due to the excellent assistance I had received, by the end of my time in this department I was able to handle a variety of work, with confidence, including both freehold and leasehold properties, new builds and commercial properties. 

Whilst doing my law degree, I found that I had the greatest affinity towards Private Client work, which included wills, probate, and estate planning. I found its complexities, and the fact that it has an impact on so many other legal areas, fascinating. Because of this, I was particularly looking forward to spending time in Hartlaw’s Private Client team, which, luckily for me, was the department I was moving into next.

I started my time in the Private Client department in June 2018. The team consists of three solicitors (soon to be four), one legal executive, and a great team of legal secretaries, all of whom have a wealth of knowledge in their chosen field. Having not worked in a Private Client department before, I was quickly taken under the wing of one of the partners, Rachel Saunders. Rachel, together with the other members of the team, provided me with a varied and diverse task list each week, which enabled me to hone my skills and knowledge over the course of a year. I attended meetings at the office and at clients’ houses, drafted letters, completed inheritance tax documents, and drafted various trust deeds as well as a host of other tasks. On one memorable occasion, I forced my way through a doorway blocked by what can only be described as a “mountain” of post which had been accumulated over a number of years whilst a client had been receiving care in a nursing home (no damage was caused, other than a sore shoulder). It’s fair to say, that my training in the Private Client department has been both interesting and challenging, but I have loved every second of it.  

During my training contract, I also spent time in the Litigation department and the Family Law department, which has given me a good grounding in the entire spectrum of work which Hartlaw offers its clients. 

Fortunately for me, Hartlaw, have not only provided me with exceptional training and support, but have asked me to join their Private Client team once I have qualified. As you can imagine, I have enthusiastically and gratefully accepted. 

I am pleased to say that I am still the bright-eyed, enthusiastic and eager to learn (but no longer naive) person I was back in 2017, and I’m looking forward to continuing my career with Hartlaw. I aim to be able to offer clients the support and specialist expertise that they deserve and that Hartlaw prides itself on delivering, for all of its clients, across all of its departments.