PRIME opportunity for students to experience legal life
This week saw the launch of Blake Morgan's new look PRIME programme. On Monday 24 the firm welcomed 8 students from local colleges, including Peter Symonds, Richard Taunton and South Downs in to the Southampton office. The week started with an inspirational talk from Divisional Director, Alison McClure who congratulated the students on securing a place against over 20 other applicants and talked about our expectations of them during their time with us.
The new look programme is split in to half days, with their own theme. One half of the day was spent with a legal or business support team and the other half spent learning new and essential skills for their future careers. Each day also has its own theme.
On Monday, the group gained an understanding of the firm from Siobhan Clarke, Graduate Recruitment & Development Officer. They were asked to prepare a presentation around their hopes and commitments for the week and deliver it back to the group. The afternoon was spent with teams such as HR, Construction and Banking & Finance.
Tuesday was all about 'Putting Clients First.' The students spent the morning with teams such as Office Services, Real Estate, and Family where one student was able to go along to court. In the afternoon Trainee Solicitors, Elizabeth Dennis and Niall Daws delivered a Client Interviewing Skills workshop; Karen Robinson, Client Relationship Manager delivered a presentation on Quality Client Service; and Siobhan Clarke talked to them about Effective Working Relationships.
The third day saw presentations from our Business Support teams to give the students an idea of the 'Inner Workings of a Law Firm.' Presentations were given by our IT, Business Development, Finance, HR and Recruitment teams. They included ways to get in to the profession and what their roles look like on a day-to-day basis. The afternoon was spent with teams such as Business Development and Construction and one student got the chance to sit in on a client meeting.
'Your Career' was the theme for Thursday and students were told about the various routes into the profession including apprenticeships, CILEx and the Period of Recognised training. Taylor Root Legal delivered a CV and Interview Skills workshop to help the students prepare for their search and applications for their dream careers. In the afternoon they joined teams such as Information Services and Family.
Finally, the students spent their final day with the Commercial Litigation and Employment teams. Before heading off they reflected on their learning from the week and delivered presentations outlining what they had learnt and whether or not they had delivered on their commitments from Monday. They all agreed that the biggest surprise for them was how friendly, supportive and welcoming the firm was.
Some of the feedback from the week included:
"The biggest surprise for me was how involved they allow you to be."
"the most valuable work related thing I've ever done."
"Before this week I wasn't sure what area of law I wanted to do in the future. Post PRIME week I'm now confirmed. I have settled on becoming a family solicitor (hopefully.)"
"I've learnt that there is more to a law firm than just solicitors."
"It was very helpful to be given all of the presentations e.g. CV writing, other routes in to law and client interviewing skills"
"The week was brilliant. I didn’t know what to expect and it was great. I 100% want to continue with law as my career."
The students were part of the PRIME Access to Law work experience scheme, an initiative which sees law firms create work experience for young people who may not otherwise have the opportunity. Blake Morgan is one of the founding members of the scheme.