Anna Billingsley recently completed a week of work experience with Farleys. Here she tells us all about what she got up to…
I first encountered Farleys’ in 2019 when I completed my first work experience placement. Consequently, this ‘week in the life’ follows my second work placement at Farleys’ in 2021 at their Preston office. I was exposed to and able to work in various areas of practice, including corporate insolvency and commercial property.
It is Monday, my first day back at the firm. I spend the day with Stephen Greenwood in the commercial property practice area. Stephen lets me engage in numerous tasks, including a compliance check with land title restrictions for a client and amending a wayleave agreement review. Within the review I am tasked with adding more clauses that ensures a greater level of protection for the client. Further to this I am also tasked with drafting a new lease using a blank precedent for a whole building lease. The client has provided the terms they wish to include in the lease which I am then responsible for adding to the blank copy.
On Tuesday I spend a day in the firm’s busy insolvency department with a solicitor, a trainee and a legal executive. I am lucky enough to chat to this team about my upcoming LPC study and be given invaluable advice to questions that I had. On this day, I read current cases and the subsequent correspondence on the cases. In one of the cases, Farleys’ were representing joint liquidators over an interest of a bankrupt estate. Further to this, I also read a case on liquidation which involved the seizure of perishable goods, a more pressing matter. The two contrasting cases show how different the work can be in the insolvency department, no two days are the same. In the department, there is a mixture of corporate and individual insolvency which really sparks my interest. Having completed an insolvency module in my undergraduate degree, I was keen to gain some exposure to the work in practice, both for companies and individuals.
I particularly enjoyed the fast-paced nature of this practice area. However, it became clear that in such a working environment the team must be very well prepared, and time manage effectively – just one of the many realities of being a solicitor.
On Wednesday I spend the day in the criminal defence department. Here, I read one of their current cases where they are defending a client who has been accused of murder. Furthermore, I am able to see some interviewing techniques that are helpful in criminal cases, for example I read an ABE (achieving best evidence) interview with a witness involved in the above case. Once again, they chat to me about what it is like working as a criminal defence solicitor. Also, it is clear that they see a lot of the same clients throughout their career, including generational clients.
I particularly enjoyed my day with the criminal defence team, they were lovely!
Thursday was spent with the family department. Having not done family law during my degree study, it was an alien practice area to me but one that I wanted very much explore, nonetheless. Whilst in this department I read one of their current cases where Farleys were acting on behalf of the children. Immediately I get the impression that family law seems to be quite complicated for all involved, the cases seem to go on for a while and often concern numerous parties. The case I am reading includes a Child Arrangement Order for a mother’s supervised access to her child to be increased, and subsequently moved to unsupervised contact. I read through all the supporting evidence and witness statements provided by the respondents, but a final decision has not yet been given. This final decision will decide issues like the residency of the child and the level of contact with some family members.
Compared to property and insolvency, family was more interesting with the type of issues they deal with, but I can imagine it is hard hitting and tough to deal with at times. However, I still really enjoyed my day spent with the family department. Furthermore, I was lucky enough to take a little trip to court to drop off an insolvency bundle which was an exciting end to the day!
On my last day, I thank the team for being so lovely and accommodating to me by bringing in some brownies! I also take some time today to reflect on the past week and all that I have learnt. Having just graduated from university, I understand that the law can appear dry after spending 3 years with your head buried in statute books. This is why it is so important to try and obtain work experience to truly experience how different in practice law can be, before deciding if a legal career is for you. Luckily, Farleys have only ever been helpful when it comes to obtaining experience, enabling me to fully immerse myself in what it is like to be a solicitor day to day. I have thoroughly enjoyed my second work placement week at Farleys in the Preston office.
To find out more about applying for work experience at Farleys Solicitors in any of our offices across Lancashire and Greater Manchester, please email email@example.com.