Freemans is dedicated to developing its Solicitors and believes that achieving its business objectives is dependent on their development, knowledge and skills. Our employees’ confidence and ability are paramount to meeting the high standards we both set ourselves and offer to our clients.
We are seeking to recruit Paralegals to commence in September 2019 and in September 2020.
At present, we do not recruit individuals to work as trainee Solicitors immediately upon joining the firm. We ask each successful applicant to commence a Paralegal role that may lead to a training contract. The opportunity to move to a training contract is based on performance and allows individuals to show the skills needed to be a successful solicitor.
The Training Contract
We know our trainee solicitors are happiest and most successful when busy with good quality work. We believe in introducing trainees to challenging cases and recognise the value of real responsibility and direct client contact. However, our experienced Solicitors are always ready to give support when this is needed.
You will be given a thorough grounding in the law, spending time in the various areas within the firm’s departments; business services, private individuals and real estate. We ensure trainees gain a broad experience during their training contract to avoid too specialised an approach before qualification.
You will complete 3 eight-month seats across the firm. The potential seats are in private client, commercial and business departments and include for 2019 Crime, Family (finance), Immigration, Wills and Probate, and Real Estate.
Support when needed
As well as having a seat supervisor in each of the departments, you will be allocated a trainee mentor. Your mentor will be a Partner or Senior Associate who will be someone you can go to for impartial advice and help during your training contract. The trainee appraisal system also ensures that you are given regular feedback and support.
We hope that the trainee Solicitors we recruit will prove to be the firm’s future Partners. A training contract with Freemans will offer you the opportunity to develop into a capable and confident lawyer who is able to help us maintain our standards of excellence. We believe that training is vital for employees to realise their full potential and cope with the demands of an ever changing working environment. We are committed to ensuring that all employees have equal access to training and development opportunities.
We believe development is a continuous process throughout our careers and ensures the people that work at Freemans are not only skilled and knowledgeable but also motivated and capable of fulfilling their role.
How to Apply
To apply for a Paralegal post to start in September 2019, please provide a CV and covering letter setting out why you are applying and, if applicable, the areas of law that interest you most as a future career. The recruitment timetable is as follows:
- Applications open: Now
- Applications for September 2019 start NOW CLOSED
- Applications for September 2020 start close 30 September 2019
- Interviews: July 2019 for the September 2019 start and Autumn 2019 for the September 2020 start
- Join Freemans: September 2020 or 2021
Applications should be by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What is life like as a trainee at Freemans?
Nathan is a Partner in our property department. He joined Freemans as a paralegal in 2002 qualifying as a solicitor in 2004 and becoming a Partner in 2015. Here, Nathan takes us on his journey, starting from the very beginning.
‘Having spent many happy years studying at University College London, I was told in the latter years by those closest to me that I needed to give some serious thought to life post-university, with a view to actually earning some money! I eventually decided that law sounded like an exciting challenge and this was confirmed to me following an extremely enjoyable summer undertaking work experience at a multidisciplinary firm of solicitors in Central London.
Following university, I studied at the College of Law, converting my degree into a law degree, and thereafter undertaking the Legal Practice Course.
I applied, somewhat unscientifically, to a large number of London firms in the hope that somebody, somewhere would have me! I had various interviews at some of the larger London firms whereupon I came to the realisation that I may be best suited to a smaller, more intimate environment.
As is the case in many areas of life, serendipity played its part. I sent a cold e-mail to my now Partner, Howard Freeman, asking whether there might be an opportunity for me to gain some further experience in the fields of law practised at Freemans.
Luck would have it that a member of the property department had very recently left the firm for pastures new and Howard responded to my email suggesting that we meet for a chat over coffee.
I initially joined as a paralegal where I assisted generally in the firm, following which I was offered a training contract which included seats in property, crime and civil litigation.
Two years training flew by in a whirlwind of legal research, documentation review together with a wide range of practice management and administrative tasks, assisting the more senior members of each department. The time spent listening and where required, taking notes, and attending meetings with my then supervisors, who are now my Partners, really was invaluable.
There is very much an open door policy at Freemans with a feeling of freedom to walk into another Associate or Partner’s room, to talk through a legal or commercial problem in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. With the realisation that our trainees are our future, there is a genuine openness and willingness to helping trainees, working collaboratively and offering guidance wherever possible.
There is a culture at Freemans which fosters cooperation over competition, which leaves scope for support and friendship.
I qualified into the property department, which is where I continue to work, qualifying first as an Associate and then as a Partner.
When I became a Partner, I quickly realised that this was not an end, but merely a beginning. The work undertaken for many of the clients I worked with as a junior solicitor remain my clients, although I am now responsible for that relationship. I inherited various clients from Partners more senior to me, although I have found with the support available to me, together with my own networking and contacts, I have established new client relationships over the years which I continue to manage.’
Nathan Woodward, Partner
Karim is also a partner in our Property department. He first joined Freemans as a paralegal in 2010, prior to graduating from Brunel University in 2012. He then completed the Legal Practice Course with distinction in July 2013 and began his traineeship in October 2013.
‘My training contract at Freemans Solicitors included seats in the Civil Litigation, Crime and Real Estate.
From the beginning of my training contract I was treated as a fully-fledged member of the team, and was exposed to the whole range of work done by each of the departments I sat in. You aren’t of course expected to know how to deal with a case from day one, but you are expected to pull your weight and contribute meaningfully to the matters handled by the solicitors and partners you’ll be working alongside. It’s a great way to gain proper experience, and there was a real emphasis on ensuring that I was developing the skills needed to handle my own workload in the future.
In a typical day, I would conduct detailed legal research, contact and correspond with our clients, prepare court documents and sit in on (and later handle) client meetings. I also often went to court, mediation meetings and other proceedings, not simply to observe but to assist counsel and serve in other important roles. I also sometimes got involved in the promotion of the firm, for example by preparing Legal 500 submissions and writing articles. I still use a lot of what I learned during my training contract in my practice now.
I really valued working so closely alongside the solicitors and partners in the firm. It meant that I could discuss the work I was doing, as well as any concerns I had and my career development in general, with people who have decades of experience and the know-how to guide me through. I learned a lot about how to manage my workload and maintain a healthy outlook from them.
I finished my training contract in 2015. I chose to stay on with Freemans Solicitors after I qualified, and am now a partner here myself. I would recommend training at Freemans Solicitors without hesitation.’
Karim Maksoud, Partner