Hear from Kate and Madison – our new Solicitors in-training!

Find out what its like to do a Solicitor Training Contract at Derbyshire Law Centre

A picture of Kate and Madison smiling as they start their training contract

At the start of 2024 Madison and Kate started their training contracts to become solicitors with the Derbyshire Law Centre. Their training is fully funded and will last two years, covering seats in the different areas of Law that we cover. We asked them a few questions about how they’d reached this point and what they wanted to get from the training period:

Q: When did you start working at the Law Centre?

Kate: I started working at the Law Centre in July 2021 as a Homelessness Prevention Paralegal, before moving to the Debt Unit as a Caseworker in January 2023.
Madison: I started in July too on the same project and then became a housing caseworker in May 2023

Q: What education have you done before?

Kate: I studied LLB Law with a year abroad at the University of Birmingham, my year aboard was at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. I’m currently studying the Legal Practice Course part-time at the University of Law in Sheffield.
Madison: Before this I studied a Law Degree (LLB) at Sheffield Hallam from 2018-2021. I’m now doing the LPC part time with Leeds Beckett University.

Q: Why did you want to work for the Law Centre?

Kate: I was introduced to Law Centres through volunteering at the Birmingham Community Law Centre during my degree. I was inspired by the solicitors dedication to access to justice, ensuring that legal advice is accessible to all. When I saw the paralegal job advert in June 2021, as I was finishing my degree, I knew DLC was where I wanted to work!
Madison: Law Centres are not discussed on an undergraduate law degree and I hadn’t heard of them so when I came across the job advert I thought the work sounded interesting and different to anything I had studied at University.

Q: What’s been one of your biggest achievements so far at Derbyshire Law Centre

Kate: Playing a role in a client being able to move to a safer property, or being able to stay in their current property if they are at risk of eviction is my biggest achievement. One of my clients was able to move to a more suitable and affordable property and even sent me photos of their lovely new garden! When a client feels like a weight has been lifted after discussing their debts and what we can do to tackle them, that makes it all worthwhile.
Madison: One of the biggest achievements is helping a client to resolve their housing situation and working as a team holistically to make sure the client had all the necessary support they need and then working with the local authority to achieve a positive outcome for the client.

Q: Why did you want to do a training contract?

Kate: I want to practice as a solicitor in social welfare law and a training contract at the Law Centre is the perfect way to gain experience in other areas of law like Housing and Immigration.
Madison: Through working at the Law Centre as a paralegal I have seen how dedicated the team are to their clients and I’ve enjoyed the work and more legal experience I have gained through my caseworker role. This experience has been my main motivator in wanting to become a social welfare solicitor.

Q: What are you looking forward to and what are your goals for the future?

Kate: I’m looking forward to getting experience in different areas of law, and learning from my colleagues in different departments. For my goals, I want to continue to work in social welfare law or civil Legal Aid more generally. I can’t wait to get stuck into my training contract first though!
Madison: I am looking forward to working with my colleagues and also doing other areas that the Law Centre offers as I have been based in the housing unit since I started. Long term, I would like to continue working in social welfare law!