Two young graduates have taken their first steps onto the legal career ladder after being chosen by North East law firm Hay & Kilner as its latest trainee solicitors.
Alexis Wood and Michael Taylor have started on a two-year training programme which will see them spend four blocks of six months working alongside experienced practitioners in different departments within the Newcastle-headquartered firm, in order to get a sound general grounding in the law and to help identify any particular strengths and areas of interest.
Alexis’ first training assignment is within Hay & Kilner’s clinical negligence team, while Michael is now part of its commercial property department.
Michael holds a law degree from Durham University and a Legal Practice Course qualification from Northumbria University, while Alexis took a chemistry degree at Durham before deciding on a change of career direction.
She has been working as a paralegal in Hay & Kilner’s residential property unit for the last year, a position she took on after completing her Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course qualifications at Northumbria.
Alexis Wood, who is from Newcastle, says: “I wanted to go into law when I was younger, and after I graduated, I decided to take another look at my career options within the North East and did placements at a few different law firms.
“The atmosphere at Hay & Kilner really made it stand out from the crowd. I was really keen to join once I’d completed my studies and working here has very much lived up to my expectations.
“Hay & Kilner trainees get lots of opportunities to play an active role in their departments under the supervision of senior practitioners, which means we quickly get plenty of hands-on experience of what legal work actually entails, as well as an insight into some of the specialities that we might one day choose to follow.
“The time I’ve already spent here means I’m already well versed in how the firm’s systems work, and I’m looking forward to building my legal knowledge across the practice over the next couple of years.”
Alongside their on-the-job learning, the new trainees will be put through the Professional Skills Course at Northumbria University by the firm, which is a mandatory qualification run by the Solicitors Regulation Authority which must be successfully undertaken prior to an individual practicing as a solicitor.
Jonathan Waters, managing partner at Hay & Kilner, adds: “We aim to give our trainees the best possible grounding in the law, as well as a detailed understanding of the high client service standards to which we adhere.
“Many members of our senior team have built successful careers at the firm after joining as trainees, and both Alexis and Michael now have the chance to follow in their footsteps.”
Established in 1946, Hay & Kilner is one of North East England’s leading independent law firms and provides a full range of legal services to businesses and individuals from both within and outside the region.