We asked Philippa Tizard to give some insight into her role as a Trainee Solicitor in our London office and to give an idea of what it’s like working for a global law firm.
For more insight into what a typical day in the life looks like working at Kennedys, visit our life at Kennedys page.
What team are you a part of at Kennedys?
I work as part of the Travel team in the London office, currently undertaking the SQE Programme at Kennedys. The SQE programme is a 30 month training programme where I will remain in the Travel team for the duration. It involves working at Kennedys four days a week and one day a week to study at BPP.
How did you start your career?
I began my career at Kennedys working in the Marketing team within Business Development (BD). In BD you are exposed to a variety of work, but I mainly worked on thought leadership.
I worked on the fourth edition of the firm’s coveted Claims Handling Guide, liaising with around 80 lawyers who had authored various chapters on their specialisms. Working with the content gave me a greater understanding of the plethora of work the firm covers and made me start reconsidering a legal career. Prior to Kennedys I had worked in retail, recruitment, media and au paired a few times.
What do you like most about the SQE Programme?
The SQE Programme makes becoming a solicitor far more financially viable and accessible. Kennedys was one of the first law firms to implement this programme as part of their training offerings. It was the first time post studying law at university I had seen a training programme that appealed to me. I like that I am studying at the same time as working and that I have a salary. It does present its own challenges too – good time management is essential!
What are your biggest achievements so far?
Being accepted onto the SQE programme was a big achievement in itself for me. The application process can be quite lengthy and a lot of personal time is invested, so it was incredibly rewarding to be successful.
What is the environment like at Kennedys?
You will often hear people say that it’s the people that make Kennedys stand out, and it’s true, colleagues look out for one another. My marketing colleagues were immensely supportive when I first informed them that I was looking to apply to the SQE Programme and very encouraging of me pursuing my goal.
Within the travel team I am well-supported. My supervisors recognise when there are opportunities for me to attend remote trials and help on larger, more complex files, to continue to build on my understanding on the legal issues faced by the travel sector. It’s encouraging to see team members progress through their careers at the firm and that there’s a clear pathway.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start the SQE Programme?
The SQE programme at Kennedys provides a unique opportunity to become more specialised in a particular area, so I would recommend taking a look at the typical work you’ll be exposed to on the Kennedys website.
It’s important to see value in whatever path has led you to this point, all experience can be relevant in different ways. You will be amazed and intrigued by the backgrounds of your trainee cohort and it definitely is never too late to go for it.