updated on 26 June 2020
Once you have chosen to pursue a career in law, shortlisting which firms you would like to train with is one of the most critical decisions, as you will want it to give you that all important introduction to a successful career.
With over 30 years' combined experience between them, recently promoted partners, Harriet Errington, Katie O'Callaghan and Kellie Jones share their evolution from trainees at Boodle Hatfield to joining the partnership. They outline some of their tips for future trainees embarking on their journeys, highlighting their thoughts on the values firms need to inspire to develop talent from within and the benefits of organic career progression.
What kind of culture/values does a firm need to inspire loyalty and develop partners who originally trained at the firm?
In the modern workplace most people work for many different firms throughout their careers. Thus, for its increased scarcity, loyalty is more valuable now than ever. However, loyalty, like respect, must be earned. There are various ways in which a firm may inspire loyalty:
What are the advantages of progressing your career organically in one firm, as opposed to hopping between firms on the way up the career ladder?
There are some enormous benefits to progressing your career within one firm:
People: training in four separate departments within the firm before qualifying into one area means that on qualification, and as your career progresses to partnership, you tend to know a lot of people around the firm. It is a pleasure being surrounded by both support staff and fee earners who know you well and it provides an incredibly supportive and friendly environment to work in.
Goodwill: the fact that people know you well and have probably worked with you at some stage during your time at the firm means that you (hopefully!) have earned people’s respect. Moving to a new firm requires you to start that process from scratch, which of course is not impossible, but it can take time to build relationships.
Support: this follows on from goodwill. Working with people you have known throughout your career is a very supportive environment in which to challenge yourself and grow. It is easy to identify who can help you along the way.
Benefit to clients: Boodle Hatfield is a full-service law firm for private individuals and having worked there for so long, you gain a core understanding of each and every part of ‘the machine’. If a client has a niche query about something unrelated to your area of law, the chances are that you will know exactly the right person to put them in touch with. Similarly, having gained the respect and support of colleagues, clients are often referred to us from other areas of the firm.
What advice do you have for future trainees and students on how to identify and pursue career development opportunities at junior levels?
To find out more about the graduate recruitment programme at Boodle Hatfield, please visit