Lauren Jones

My internship at MPR Solicitors LLP
University of Surrey Undergraduate Intern 2013

Lauren JonesWhen I first started applying for placements I was unsure about where I wanted to be and what type of firm I wanted to work for. However, I was certain that I wanted a high level of responsibility; I didn’t just want to waste a year making tea and coffee or photocopying. For me, a placement was an opportunity to obtain invaluable experience that would put me a step in front of others when applying for jobs in the future.

I applied for a placement at MPR Solicitors and within a matter of hours I had secured an interview. On attending my interview, I observed that MPR Solicitors was a small firm with friendly staff and a happy working environment. I knew that I would enjoy a placement at MPR Solicitors. I asked about the work that I would be expected to do and I was assured that I would be given appropriate responsibility within a variety of tasks.

Since starting my placement I have certainly undertaken a variety of tasks. The work I do varies from chasing the CPS for case papers, meeting with clients, attending Court with counsel and attending prison visits. I also undertake quite a lot of legal research which is really interesting. I am still in the early days of my placement as I am only at the end of my seventh week but I am thoroughly enjoying my time here. I am growing more confident with clients as my communication skills improve as a result of liaising with many different people day to day. My placement has certainly honed various skills and taught me new ones that will be transferrable to any prospective job in the future.

The main benefit of working at MPR Solicitors is that it is a small firm. As such, I have constant contact with the Solicitors and Partners within the firm. Such rapport would not be achieved in a big City firm. I have the most contact with Kinneri as she delegates the majority of my work. Kinneri has made me feel comfortable so that I am not afraid to ask for help which makes my work all the better. MPR Solicitors have an open door policy which is refreshing and gives me confidence to ask questions.

As well as being incredibly helpful to my future career, MPR Solicitors also provides a social aspect to working life. Office lunches at our favourite Indian restaurant are a regular occasion along with trips to Marks and Spencer’s for Pain Au Chocolat.

Although working life was a shock to the system after being a student for so long, I have got used to working 9:00-5:30 and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I would recommend a placement at MPR Solicitors to anyone who was interested in gaining hands on experience in a busy law firm.

A placement at MPR is very much about learning. I have found everyone here to be very keen in allowing me to attend Court hearings on cases that I have been working on. I have even been to the Royal Courts of Justice to watch an appeal. Usually if I ask to attend something, it is no problem. I have also shadowed the Firm’s family law solicitor in client meetings and have attended proceedings in the County Court.

I have gained an invaluable insight in the differences between Legal Aid and privately funded cases as the Firm does not undertake Legal Aid family law work. The other areas of legal practice I have experienced at MPR are licensing cases, employment law and civil litigation.

One of the main benefits of a placement at MPR is that it is a small firm. This means that my level of responsibility is much higher than it would be in a large firm, where I would probably never meet a client. On average, I see 3 or 4 clients a week. In the office, I often have appointments with clients to help with the case and go through certain documents with them . This would always be planned and I will always have the benefit of a solicitor who will supervise.  Prison visits may be arranged for me to go and see clients and to provide them with case papers. I will attend Court with clients and counsel in order to watch proceedings and assist where possible. Counsel are always happy to talk you through what’s happening and will often ask for an opinion.

Overall, my placement at MPR has been very enjoyable. Out of all the areas of law that the Firm undertakes, criminal law is the most  fascinating area to work in, and our clients always have something interesting to say. Every single case is different. This means that there is never a dull moment. I would recommend a placement year with MPR to anyone with an interest in crime, although I believe that it is teaching me transferable skills that are valued in many other areas of law.