Ayush Ramsooroop, a second-year student, reading law at Middlesex University, recently completed a summer work placement with Appleman Legal. In this interview, he shares his insight on how work placements at law firms should be meaningful and why law students should undertake placements to further their career development.
Legal Career so far
I have had the opportunity to shadow barristers for a period of two months last year and interned at a Pro-Bono Legal clinic, whereby my duties revolved around assisting court sessions and helping in the preparation for hearings. I have also been selected by my university to act as a Student Learning Assistant, which involved peer-mentoring my juniors with regards to their legal studies.
Why did I choose Appleman Legal
Whilst conducting my research on the firm’s profile, Appleman Legal ticked all the right boxes for me. I was intrigued by the areas of practice which the firm specialised in. I was particularly keen to explore the mental health and mental capacity departments. The reviews on Yell.com reflected the degree of professionalism and expertise shown by the fee earners.
Work placements should count
I began my work placement at Appleman Legal at the end of May 2022 for 4 weeks. From my first day, I felt like a member of the team and worked alongside other fee earners. (I was relieved that I wasn’t dumped in the broom cupboard or boiler room!)
I was not there to simply make photocopy and coffee
I wasn’t kidding myself to think that I would be conducting a 3-day Trial in the Royal Courts of Justice during my stint here. I knew that I would be less skilled than my experienced peers. However, I was delighted that I was entrusted with interesting casework as opposed to doing menial administrative tasks. I was lucky to have worked under direct supervision of the Directors of the Mental Health, Court of Protection and Family Departments.
During my work placement, I experienced the real working day of a solicitor at Appleman Legal. I was involved in tasks such as taking detailed instructions from client which helped me developed my client communication skills. I undertook case preparation and document perusal. I even shadowed a Fee earner for a hearing in the Family Courts. I was able to really understand how to use case management software programmes such as Osprey.
Work placement has benefitted me too
I wasn`t sure what to expect when I first joined in. Having now spent 4 weeks in a busy law firm, I can say that I have learnt invaluable skills which will help me in my professional and personal development. It goes without saying that I have had the opportunity to further improve my existing skills and learn new ones during these 4 weeks.
Being given responsibility to deliver some tasks in a timely manner has shown my true potential. It boosted my confidence that I was able to contribute to the firm’s output.
If I had to share some advice to other law students, I would say: “Do your homework and find high-quality work experience placements so that you can have an idea of the real workings of a law firm”. Obtaining this invaluable work experience at Appleman Legal has allowed me to get a real hands-on experience that I could implement into my studies when I return to university later this year.
Kudos to the whole Appleman Legal family for being very supportive, friendly and for imparting their knowledge with me. I feel humbled to have been part of the Appleman Legal family. Thank you Appleman Legal!