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Tel: 0843 224 7900

Email: enquiries@squareonelaw.com

Traineeships

We need ambitious, well qualified trainees who have a proven track record of a good academic background, combined with outstanding interpersonal skills, evidence of successful team working and an ability to build a professional network. Former paralegal experience is preferred but not essential.

We are different from other law firms and our trainees work across the entire firm, working very closely with our senior lawyers within our teams. Our trainees have a great deal of client contact and are encouraged to become involved in the firm’s business development activities and are encouraged and supported to build their own networks.

To help us select possible future trainees, we run a bespoke summer vacation scheme aimed at candidates who are looking for a training contract to start in 2019 or 2020. As the firm is driven by the needs of its clients we may consider earlier starts dates as our requirements may alter as a consequence.

We appreciate that those who are in full-time work would not be able to apply for the vacation scheme, so we offer an open day to a selected few so you can come and meet us and see if our culture would appeal to you.

All of our current trainees were offered a paralegal position for a few months before being offered their training contracts. We have found this to be beneficial for both sides, especially as the trainees were able to experience what it is like to work with our teams before committing to training contracts. We will continue to offer this introduction to the firm with the new traineeships. To date, everyone who has started as a paralegal has been offered a training contract.

If you are interested in applying to our summer vacation scheme, the scheme will be held for 3 weeks from:

  • Monday 4 June 2018 to Friday 8 June 2018

  • Monday 11 June 2018 to Friday 15 June 2018

  • Monday 18 June 2018 to Friday 22 June 2018

We offer a select number of candidates a week’s experience working across the firm.

The open day will be held, for a select number of candidates, on Friday 29 June 2018.

If you would like to be considered for the vacation scheme or the open day, please send a letter, your CV and answers to the 3 following questions in no more than 150 words per question:

  1. Why do you want to be a lawyer in a commercial firm in the North East?
  2. Why should we select you as a trainee above all the other candidates?
  3. How would you go about developing your own professional network?

Applications should be sent to traineeships@squareonelaw.com by no later than Friday 6 April 2018.

 

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Max Gilchrist

Trainee

Max joined Square One Law in September 2016 and is currently a trainee solicitor.

What attracted you to Square One Law?

I think the firm just had a good feel about it, from the outset of seeing the trainees representing the firm at a careers lecture at university, to being made to feel so welcome by everyone at the vacation scheme, the little touches like the networking drinks and the trainees taking us out to lunch on the first day really stood out.

The clientele of the firm was also a big draw, not solely because of the size of the clients and the quality and variety of work that they produce for the firm, but also from the perspective I have from my background of being heavily involved in the management of my family’s confectionery and mobile bar business (unusual combination but it works!). Square One Law’s emphasis on providing support for entrepreneurial businesses which are often family business really appealed to me and I felt like I could use my experience to bring something to the firm and its clients.

Did you find the paralegal experience at Square One Law useful before being offered your traineeship?

Yes, I think the paralegal experience was invaluable. From the outset I was involved in client meetings and did a great variety of work, which was at a much higher level than I was expecting. For example, being involved in private equity raises and investments, a few of which were in the context of music festivals which was really fun to be a part of whilst also being challenging.

One of the highlights of the paralegal experience was handling the diligence on the sale of a well-known Newcastle bar and after the deal completed, going to one of the client’s bars for a drink with the client and the partner who led the deal. This was definitely one of the reasons I went into commercial law!

Throughout, it felt like everyone was invested in my development without the pressure of being in the training contract, which meant I hit the ground running when I started my training contract.

What do you think makes your Square One Law traineeships different?

I think the inclusive nature of the firm coupled with the fact the firm gets such high quality work from some great clients, particularly for its relatively small size, really sets the firm apart from its competitors. I am always working closely with partners and senior associates meaning that I receive high-level feedback and have a lot of client contact, which from what I hear from other firms certainly is not always the case.

Again, I think the emphasis on my development is key, I have had the opportunity to pursue my interest in intellectual property law in a growing and ambitious team and have also been encouraged to represent the firm at networking events; the emphasis on trainees developing their business development skills is quite unique in itself.

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Sara Mullen

Trainee

Sara joined Square One Law as a paralegal in September 2016, and began her traineeship with the firm in February 2017.

What attracted you to Square One Law?

I knew that I wanted to stay in Newcastle after my studies so I started to research the different law firms in the area. Square One Law stood out to me as it was a relatively new firm which had a fresh approach and albeit being new on the legal scene attracted high quality clients and assisting with large scale interesting deals. The reputation of the lawyers at Square One Law was great and I knew that this was a firm where I would receive high level training and become part of the team from the outset

What did you think of the Summer Vacation Scheme last summer?

The vacation scheme was great and I thoroughly enjoyed my week at the firm. Each day we worked with a different department meaning that we got to meet everyone in the firm throughout the duration of the scheme. The variety of work I was given during the vacation scheme was great and I was even able to attend a client meeting with a partner which was really interesting. Everyone was really welcoming and couldn’t do enough to make sure the other vacation students and I felt comfortable and knew what we were doing, reflecting the great culture here at Square One Law.

Did you find the experience at Square One Law useful before being offered your traineeship?

Definitely, my the vacation scheme was a great opportunity to get to know more about the firm, its culture and how it is run on a day to day basis. Starting a new job is an apprehensive time for everyone, however having met the team and knowing what a great bunch of people I would be working with set my mind at ease as soon as I walked through the door.

Can you tell me what you did as a paralegal at Square One Law?

I began as a paralegal in the commercial property team. My role as a paralegal was varied and some of my tasks included assisting with drafting different documents, post completion work such as land registry applications and stamp duty returns, and important research to assist the other team members. My experience as a paralegal was great and the experience meant that when I was offered a traineeship in the February, I felt confident and excited to start.

What do you think will make your Square One Law traineeship different?

The amount of involvement with cases is definitely something which I feel I would not get at any other firm. From the outset I have been heavily involved with cases with responsibilities ranging from drafting documents to be used in transactions or undertaking due diligence work to completing on deals which have been months in the process. Even though I am given a lot of responsibility, I am supervised at all times and know I can seek advice from anyone at the firm, regardless of their seniority or position and they would be more than happy to help with any queries I have.

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Sally Hyslop

Trainee

Sally joined Square One Law in September 2015 and is currently a trainee solicitor.

When did you join Square One Law?

Following the completion of my LPC at Northumbria University, I took part in the Square One Law summer vacation scheme in June 2015 and started at the firm in September 2015 along with Hayley Davidson.

What is your current position within the firm and what type of work do you do?

My role at Square One Law is unique as I actually started as an assistant before becoming a paralegal in January 2016.

Having never worked in an office before, this was a great opportunity for me to gain experience and to learn more about the firm.

I work closely with all teams, supporting them where I can, although most recently I have been working with the litigation team on a large and complex mediation case. My role involved the preparation of documents and contact with clients in the run up to the mediation. Currently I am assisting the team in preparing disclosure documents for an upcoming trial.

Can you tell me about the work experience week last summer?

The work experience week gave me a good insight into the firm, its practices and its culture. It was a great way to meet the team.

Throughout the week we were given live work to assist with, I worked with the corporate, property and employment teams and what I enjoyed most was the opportunity to really contribute and give my opinion on matters. As the team is still relatively small the whole week felt a lot more personal than other work experience programmes I have attended.

There were plenty of opportunities throughout the week to spend time with people at all levels from across the firm. Being able to interact socially was a great way to find out more about the firm and the type of place that it is to work.

What attracted you to the firm?

Mostly the fact that it is different, even the recruitment process is different and shows that the firm is looking for like-minded people to help it grow.

From the start everyone was very approachable and I felt relaxed from my first interview all the way through the work experience week. Rather than a being a regimented corporate operation, Square One Law felt more personal and more like a business. Its approach seemed more organic and holistic and that was something that I wanted to be a part of.

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Hayley Davidson

Recently Qualified Solicitor

Hayley joined Square One Law as a paralegal in September 2015, and began her traineeship with the firm in January 2016.

What attracted you to Square One Law?

Having spent time as a paralegal at Bond Dickinson, a much larger regional firm, I knew that I wanted to be part of a smaller firm where I could make a difference. What I really liked about Square One Law was the fact that it attracts high quality clients and large scale, interesting projects but it is still growing so there is still the opportunity to get to know everyone and to really feel part of a team.

Did you find the paralegal experience at Square One Law useful before being offered your traineeship?

Absolutely, my first few months were a great opportunity to get to know more about the firm and how it works day to day, the different teams and of course the people. Working initially as a paralegal gave me a good grounding in what the firm is and what it is trying to achieve so I felt fully comfortable as I started my training contract.

Can you tell me what you did as a paralegal at Square One Law?

As a paralegal I worked with Square One Law’s corporate and commercial property teams.

With the corporate team I was lucky enough to be able to work on two large acquisitions, drafting ancillary documents and assisting with the due diligence process. I found this really interesting and it allowed me to get to know more about how businesses work and developed my commercial awareness.

I also supported the commercial property team with drafting documents and with post completion work, such as land registry and stamp duty applications.

Within both teams I was really surprised by the level of client interaction I was able to have. The teams included me in client meetings which were a great learning experience and something that hadn’t happened in my previous paralegal role.

What do you think makes your Square One Law traineeship different?

My traineeship is different to that of my friends in a number of ways, the projects are more varied and I work on large transactions and directly with senior members of the team. I also get invited to client meetings so I can learn from partners and senior associates about interacting with clients and developing relationships.

Overall I think that it comes down to feeling part of a team. I am not simply given ad hoc pieces of work and by working with the whole team and at all levels, I am gaining an understanding of how different projects work and what my role is within each transaction. This experience is invaluable and I don’t think that this level of involvement and contact with senior members of the team is readily available elsewhere.

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Alex Clark

Recently Qualified Solicitor

Alex graduated from Northumbria University in 2013 with a degree in Law and worked as a paralegal before joining Square One Law in September 2014. He began his traineeship with the firm in January 2015.

What attracted you to Square One Law?

I studied in the North East and I wanted to return to Newcastle. Square One Law seemed to be doing something different and to have more energy about it than the other firms.

The idea of working for a relatively new firm really appealed to me as there is an opportunity to be more involved and to shape my own training contract and experience as opposed to the rigid structure offered by more established firms.

What did you think about the paralegal day last summer?

At first I was actually a little worried as I didn't want to be at a disadvantage to those that had a full week of work experience. With hindsight I realise that it was the perfect in-between for those in full time employment as I was able to meet everyone and experience what the firm is like, without taking significant time off work.

When you are researching law firms and training contracts you notice that most firms and their websites say the same thing. However, you quickly realise that there is a difference between what you say and what you do. One day at Square One Law was enough to make me realise that they do mean what they say on the website. They are as client focussed and as forward thinking as they claim to be.

Did you find the paralegal experience at Square One Law useful before being offered your traineeship?

I had been working as a paralegal for the previous year so I knew what to expect. I do think that it is a sensible idea and a chance for both sides to get to know each other before making a commitment, although I was confident that it would be a good fit!

Can you tell me what you did as a paralegal at Square One Law?

Within my first two weeks with the firm I was assigned to the litigation team as I have previous experience in this area. Because of this, my paralegal experience was a bit different from the norm as I was exclusively working on one large project rather than assisting the whole firm with smaller tasks.

As a result I feel like I gained a greater understanding and feel like I have really made a contribution during my time as a paralegal.

Now that I have taken my first seat I am working on wider litigation matters but I feel more comfortable knowing that I had the paralegal experience.

What do you think will make your Square One Law traineeship different?

It has to be direct involvement with everyone at the firm. I have an official mentor but I am able to seek advice across the firm at any level as there are no communication barriers. This approachable culture makes it a much more comfortable learning environment and I am not sure that other firms offer such an approach.