Howes Percival FEATURE

The best lawyers never stop learning

In last month’s edition, members of the Sobia Ahmad

employment law department at Howes Percival looked at the importance of building a great team. We now take a look at the path to becoming a solicitor and the ongoing training required with Associates Sobia Ahmad, who joined in September 2019, and Alex Sims, who joined in September 2020.

The path from trainee to solicitor T e most common path (including Alex’s) to qualify as a solicitor is to graduate with a qualifying law degree. When asked about his path, Alex said: “As a

Alex Sims

student, I was aware that not only did I need to be an expert in understanding the law, but would need to apply the law to meet the needs of people and organisations. In order to cut my teeth on real world


experience, I volunteered for a local law clinic.” Would-be solicitors go on to complete the legal practice course

(LPC), with a strong focus on the practical application of the law. T is is followed by a training contract, which usually involves four departmental rotations, known as seats, which each last six months. “Following the LPC, I undertook a training contract at Howes

Percival. I wanted to develop my skills in a fi rm with a strong reputation for quality legal work and a supportive and friendly environment. In addition to an employment seat, I undertook seats in property, litigation and insolvency, across three of Howes Percival’s six offi ces.” Alex qualifi ed as an employment Associate in September 2020 in

Milton Keynes. Upon qualifi cation, he said: “Starting an employment seat in March 2020 would become an incredibly busy time for employment law, including getting to grips with furlough. Qualifying as an Associate at Howes Percival has been seamless and, although the safety net of being a trainee has been removed, there is still support and training from the team who are there to encourage and support my development.”

The importance of continued development Learning and development does not come to an end once you qualify, it is an ongoing process throughout any career in law. Sobia said: “I joined Howes Percival upon qualification as a

solicitor and, although I was confi dent in my abilities and knowledge of employment law, there was a steep learning curve ahead! “T ankfully, the team have been very supportive of my development.

My supervisor is always there to provide guidance on how best to tackle matters practically and advise clients commercially. Just because one option looks the best in theory does not mean that it is the most appropriate or effi cient solution for the client.” In order to provide clients with excellent advice and service, solicitors need to keep up to date with the law, understand how this


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