I joined Birketts as a Trainee in September 2008, having studied Law with German at the University of Birmingham and completed my Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in York. Whilst at University I participated in vacation schemes and summer placements at a variety of law firms - from international city firms to high street practices. These experiences gave me a great insight into and an understanding of a career in law, and more importantly, where I would fit in.

When it came to applying for a training contract I had a rather simpler job than many of my peers; through my work experience I knew where I wanted to apply, which was more than half the battle. I knew that I wanted to work for a large firm and that, after spending four years in Birmingham, Germany and York, I wanted to come home. However, I did not want to sacrifice the quality of my training by living in the regions. My choice was therefore rather an obvious one, and having read the Lex 100 and various other publications aimed at graduates, I knew that the training offered by Birketts was second to none. I also understood that it was a firm with ambition that would give my legal career an enviable foundation.

During my training contract I spent time in the Private Client Advisory, Property and Property Litigation departments. My final seat was with the Shipping Team, where I qualified in September 2010. Throughout my training contract I was given real responsibility and was entrusted with running my own files from an early stage. I was reassured and encouraged to progress and never felt afraid to ask questions. The exposure to real work and clients from the start of my training gave me the opportunity to prove myself and increased my confidence exponentially. It also allowed me to make a smooth transition from trainee to solicitor. Birketts, and the training it provides really is second to none - there is a reason it is a leading East Anglian law firm. Everybody within the firm is professional, hugely knowledgeable, down to earth, and crucially, approachable.