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Top tips for prospective applicants

Fiona Dabell qualified in 2016 and is now an assistant solicitor in our medical negligence team, having initially trained as nurse. She shares her top tips for anyone thinking about applying for a training contract at Barcan+Kirby.

What’s your background?

After several years in nursing I started an Open University degree in economics and politics before moving onto an LLB through the College of Law. I wanted to specialise in work which combined law with health or medicine, so became a module author and then tutor at Salford University.

I started a PhD at the University of the West of England, but after a year, I realised that I didn’t want to teach law to undergraduates; I wanted to do the job.

I sent out a speculative CV and was offered a paralegal role in the medical negligence team at Barcan Woodward (now Barcan+Kirby). I went on to complete the LPC part-time and was offered a training contract in 2013.

And your career since your training?

After training, I was offered an Assistant Solicitor role in the medical negligence team. I’ve been given my own case load and I also assist more senior solicitors with higher value complex cases.

What was it like being a trainee?

I really loved my time as a trainee. I was well looked after, but at the same time I was given a fair bit of autonomy which allowed me to flourish. Everyone was welcoming and friendly, and I had good supervision and plenty of feedback.

I was given time to learn and there was always someone available to give me advice and support when I needed it.

What are your three tips for prospective employees?

  • Excellent client care is the central focus here so make sure you show that this is of genuine importance to you.
  • Demonstrate that you’re hard working and passionate about your work – at Barcan+Kirby this is much more important than following a traditional route into law.
  • Working here is a bit like being part of a very large family. Show that you’re prepared to join in and that you’re enthusiastic and motivated, and you’ll fit in perfectly.

Why should someone apply to Barcan+Kirby?

The work is intellectually stimulating and you learn something new every day.

Just as importantly however, everyone within the team is out to help each other, and deliver the best service that we can to our clients.

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