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Lucie Williams - Trainee Solicitor (September 2017 - September 2019)

Trainee Solicitor Lucie Williams started her training contract with Martin Tolhurst Solicitors in September 2017. Lucie is currently in her second seat with our Probate team.

Lucie 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 attained my LLB with Honours from the University of Northampton. Following this I undertook the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law, Guildford. accepted my Training Contract with Martin Tolhurst Solicitors at the beginning of 2017 and began my first seat in September 2017.

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

Throughout my LPC I was given the opportunity to undertake several work placements which gave my invaluable experience in a variety of fields of law.  I participated in the Victim Support and Witness Support schemes and was able to deal with those affected by general crime and domestic abuse. I was able to see first hand how much support the ‘victims’ often required and was grateful to be involved in playing a small part in remedying to wrongs that had been done to them. It was at this stage that I was able to see how unique the relationship between the client and their legal representative is. My involvement also allowed me to experience first-hand the workings of the Court system including the process of bringing the defendant before the Court.

To gain experience in an area of civil law, I volunteered with a charity which assisted those with welfare and housing needs. I was involved in acting for those against both Councils and Private Landlords.

Prior to working at Martin Tolhurst Solicitors, I worked for a Personal Injury company. Whilst I find the job very interesting, I did not enjoy the lack of face-to-face client interaction and the fast-paced, high turnover of cases the job involved.

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

I joined Martin Tolhurst Solicitors in September 2015. I initially worked within the New Enquiries department. When I was offered the opportunity of a Training Contract with the firm I was grateful to work within a firm that has a stellar reputation in Kent.

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

After being out of employment to start a family, I accepted the role within the New Enquiries department in 2015. This role allowed me to understand the ethos of the firm and learn what legal work the firm undertook. Within 18 months I was offered a Training Contract.

How long have you been a trainee and what seats have you held?

I have been a Trainee Solicitor for 17 months. My first seat was within the Wills and Probate department and my second seat was spent with the Family department.  My third and final seat will be with the Civil Litigation department.

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

Every day is varied in the life of a Trainee Solicitor. Within the Wills and Probate department, a typical day could be spent drafting standard wills, Life Interest Trust or Discretionary Trust wills. This would involve meeting with clients and speaking with them to understand what their future plans were for their assets. I was able to advise them of the best way to ensure their assets could be secured for their future and that of their families.

I find the Probate work to be very interesting and was able to undertake and practice a number of skills including the drafting and completion of grants of administration to be sent to the Probate Registry and Inheritance Tax forms for HMR,  Memorandums of Appropriation, Deeds of Variation and Lasting Powers of Attorney. 

Within my Family seat, I was involved in the preparation of documents for Court hearings including Briefs to Counsel and Witness Statements.

I enjoy not knowing what each day will bring and the uncertainty that something may happen that day to completely throw your ‘To-Do’ list off course! Whilst the role is often challenging, it is never boring.

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

I am grateful that my Supervisors are always on hand, encouraging and happy to assist. The Wills and Probate team in general is very supportive and will always take the time to assist if I have any queries. My learning is further assisted by online training programmes and training days given by experts in their field covering all aspects of law.

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

Martin Tolhurst Solicitors are fantastic in assisting their staff to progress in their legal career. My colleagues are not only able to provide emotional support but also invaluable knowledge and expertise.

Outside of day-to-day work, I am able to participate in the charity events organised by the firm and attend Law Society/Kent Law Society events.