"On 18th October, I took the first step of my journey into the legal sector. After studying law at university for 5 years, I have finally entered the world of full-time work in a law firm. Leading up to my start date, I was more excited than I was nervous. I was looking for a change and this change was certainly a welcome one.
In this article, I will discuss what my first week in my law firm has been like, what I loved about my first week and why I’m excited to continue to work for the firm.
THE FIRM AND MY ROLE
I now work as a First Response Advisor for Carpenters Group. Carpenters Group are a law firm which specialises in insurance and legal services. We work with insurers and individuals regarding motor insurance & personal injury claims. It is my job to take the inbound calls from new clients and assess their claims. A client may call in to say that they wish to make a claim because of a road traffic accident (RTA) they have been involved in, and it is my job to assess whether they have a basis to make a claim, before passing it on further down the chain.
Before this role, after I had finished my law studies at university, I was working at Costa Coffee full-time. It was an honest day’s work, but since the very beginning of my studies in 2016, the plan was to work there until I get a full-time role in the legal sector and then get out. My colleagues were amazing, and I learned a lot about interacting with people and providing a valuable service to customers, but the time had come where I just wanted to take the next step. So, when a recruiter contacted me, I jumped at the chance. It’s early days, but I can already tell that deciding to accept the role at this firm was the right decision.
MY FIRST WEEK AT CARPENTERS GROUP
There’s a stereotype attached to the legal industry; everyone wears expensive suits, the people at the bottom of the ladder are worthless and the ones at the top are better than everyone else. Basically, everybody thinks that working for a law firm is identical to the show Suits (which is a phenomenal show by the way).
But one thing that is slipping under the radar for those who are outside of the legal sector is that the traditions are changing. Mental health is a huge topic, we’re on the backend of a pandemic that changed the working world and people’s work-related desires are changing.
Carpenters are seeing these new desires and are adapting. Their dress code is relaxed (as long as you’re not in a hoodie and joggers of course), they’ve introduced flexible work-from-home hours and are prioritising the use of technology in the workplace.
However, the thing that impressed me most is that they go out of their way to ensure that everyone working at the firm feels valued, regardless of their role.
My trainer for the first week was Jamie O’Rourke and I’ve chosen to mention his name because based on the training he has delivered, I think he is a great asset to the firm.
He put everyone’s mind at ease and encouraged everybody to participate. He emphasised that there is no hierarchy of value at the firm (he even mentioned that it will be common to have the CEO bump into you in the canteen and strike up a casual conversation). There is not one role that is more/less valuable than another.
The warm welcome to the firm is largely responsible for the positivity I have felt after my first week. There has been a collaborative spirit throughout my first week of training, there was no question Jamie was reluctant to answer and there was not one moment where he appeared like helping someone was an inconvenience.
Can you see why I’m happy to be working at Carpenters Group yet?
THE AREA OF LAW
Now, to most people, learning about the ins and outs of motor insurance will sound boring. I’ll admit, before entering this area myself, part of me was worried that I might find it boring too.
So, whilst I was excited, part of me was also hesitant because I didn’t want to find that the area of law I was going to work in would be an area I dislike.
However, I am happy to say that I find it interesting, and I think that it’s largely because of how the training has been delivered. Learning about the ins and outs of insurance law has been interesting in all fairness, but I think my interest in the area has been enhanced because the method of teaching has emphasised how our role in this area of law directly affects our clients. Not only are we learning the specifics, but we are learning about its applicability.
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT MY FUTURE AT CARPENTERS
I am so happy that I have decided to join Carpenters Group and it’s because I thrive on one thing: progression. As I’ve said, working at Costa as a Barista is an honest day’s work, as any other job is. Whether you work as a CFO of a bank or whether you’re a cleaner, it doesn’t matter. All work is an honest day’s work.
However, I knew that my time at Costa Coffee was up. I’d studied law for 5 years and I was dying for something fresh in my life.
I needed a new role. I needed to meet new people and experience something other than what I had experienced for the last 5 years.
I’m in a new area of the city I love, have a job that is in alignment with my career interests & goals, I’m meeting new people and I get to provide a service to clients that I feel has meaning.
This decision to join Carpenters Group sounds like a no-brainer. But when we make these career decisions, it’s natural to feel some sort of hesitance. These sorts of decisions involve taking some form of risk.
I am so happy that I listened to my gut and decided to take this next step.
Here’s to seeing where this road leads to!"