Despite family mediation being a viable option for resolving a range of family issues, confusion still exists about how the process works more…
Trainee talk… Victoria Thompson
Tell us about your background
Like many GCSE and A Level students, I didn’t have a clear idea of my career goals as a teenager. I was interested in a law career, but with no family or friends in the profession I had little knowledge of what the career entailed in practice.
I took a year out to ensure I was making the right choice, and decided that a law degree would be beneficial to my career even if I ultimately decided to pursue other avenues.
I loved studying law and from very early on I knew I would continue into a law career. I gained as much experience as possible with a mini pupillage and experience in solicitors firms to broaden my understanding of the various routes a law career can take.
After studying I started my career as a Will Writer at the former Kirby Sheppard before starting a training contract with Barcan+Kirby in 2015.
What’s a typical day for you?
The ‘typical’ day has varied greatly in each training seat! In family, a typical day might include attending a client meeting with a senior solicitor and taking on the necessary work. For example, if it’s a new client I’ll open the file, draft the client care documents and initial letter of advice and prepare an attendance note.
It’s also not uncommon to find myself in court in this seat, either with a colleague or sitting behind counsel.
What matters are you dealing with currently?
I’m mostly involved with divorce and finance work and I’m taking responsibility for a number of divorce files under supervision. I’ve also assisted in care work.
How much interaction do you have with clients?
In the family seat I’ve had extensive interaction with clients and that has been one of my favourite aspects so far. It enables you to feel much more involved – you really care about the work you do and understand why it is so important.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Definitely the contact with clients and feeling that your work is helping make a difference to them. In almost every seat, clients are coming to you for help because of a major event in their life (some good, some bad) and it is very rewarding to be able to help them through these events.
What’s the toughest part of your job?
It can be difficult to hear what our clients have been through – particularly in the family and medical negligence seats.
Favourite thing about working for the firm?
In every seat I have felt supported and challenged. As a trainee I’ve been involved in really interesting cases and I feel the firm really cares about making sure you benefit from the training contract, but that you also benefit the firm and why that is important.
Also my colleagues in each office have always been friendly and welcoming, which has made the job extremely enjoyable.