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Hannah Sharp - Trainee Solicitor (April 2018 - April 2020)

Hannah Sharp - Qualified as a Solicitor in April 2020 

Former trainer Solicitor Hannah Sharp discusses why she chose to train with Martin Tolhurst Solicitors.

Where and what did you study at University before you were accepted for a Training Contract with Martin Tolhurst Solicitors?

I studied Law and Criminology at Canterbury Christchurch University, and went on to complete my Legal Practice Course at the University of Law in Bloomsbury (London).

What work had you done before you started your training, including work placements and voluntary work? Did your work experience prove useful?

Whilst at university I did some work experience in a few local law firms, and volunteered as a court runner at Lambeth County Court. Once I completed my LPC I worked at two different law firms in Ashford and Maidstone, gaining valuable experience as a secretary/assistant in both Conveyancing and Wills and Probate. The experience I have gained has been extremely useful, and I feel it has increased my confidence to continue along the path to becoming a fully qualified solicitor.

When and why did you decide to become a solicitor with Martin Tolhurst Solicitors?

I have wanted to be a solicitor since I was 14 years old. When looking at firms that offered training contracts, Martin Tolhurst stood out to me as it has an excellent reputation in the local area, and it offers fantastic training opportunities across a wide variety of areas.

How did you get a place at Martin Tolhurst Solicitors and what did you do before?

I had applied at numerous firms before securing my training contract at Martin Tolhurst Solicitors. When I applied here, I sent my CV and a covering letter to HR, and then had two interviews before being offered the training contract. 

As a trainee and what seats did you undertake?

I undertook seats in Will & Probate, Family and Conveyancing. My supervising partner were all very supportive and I was always able to ask them for guidance or direction. During my seats I was also given autonomy to deal with clients and their cases directly.

What does your typical day as a trainee solicitor look like?

What I loved most about being a trainee solicitor is that every day was different. When I first got to the office I checked my emails and went through my post for the day. A typical day within the wills department would consist mainly of drafting will/codicils, calling clients, attending clients meetings with other fee earners, opening and closing files, registering wills and drafting inheritance tax forms and Oaths. Within my Family seat, I was involved in the preparation of documents for Court hearings including Briefs to Counsel and Witness Statements.

What training and support did you receive whilst being a trainee solicitor?

Martin Tolhurst has the best training programme of any firm I have come across. There is a wide range of modules on the firm’s training tracker which all staff must complete, and every year there is a fee earner training programme arranged where specialist lecturers keep us updated on changes in legislation and current case law.

Every trainee has a supervising partner they report to. My supervisor was very approachable, friendly, encouraging and always finds the time to help when I had any questions or needed guidance on how to go about a certain issue, no matter how busy they were. 

I also had support from the rest of the team of each seat, and there was always someone to help if I needed it.

What were the best bits about being a trainee at Martin Tolhurst Solicitors?

Martin Tolhurst is a great firm to be a trainee at for many reasons, but I think the most important bits to me are that there are a high number of courses provided for trainees, and there are lots of charity and fundraising events to get involved with.