Rebecca Moore is a Trainee Solicitor at Stowe Family Law and one of 15 ULaw alumni now working within the firm. After completing her GDL (now PGDL) and LPC at The University of Law, Rebecca joined Stowe Family Law in 2016 and has worked her way up through the ranks. Here she talks about her experience, aspirations and motivations to work in a family law firm.
I chose law because my dad was a police officer for 30 years. I found the stories that he’d come home with really interesting, so I chose to study law at A Level and realised it was something that I was not only good at but engrossed in. I love how the law can affect normal people’s everyday lives. My dad was definitely my biggest inspiration to become a lawyer. I saw how much he helped people through his role in the police force and I think this is why I want to be involved in the law and helping people.
I’m currently working as a Trainee Solicitor at Stowe Family Law. I’m only six months into my training at the moment, so I’m not taking on full cases on my own. The work generally involves helping the fee earners with their cases, drafting documents and doing research into specific aspects of the law.
My typical day starts at around 8:30. I’ll get into the office and check emails then finish off my timesheet from the previous day, in case I’d done any work at home in the evening. Then I’ll catch up with the fee earners in the office and find out if there is anything extra they need doing. As a trainee, there’s quite a bit of administrative work to do while you learn the ropes. I’ll usually do some photocopying and organising bundles to prepare for court. I’ll also often attend meetings with clients and take notes of what’s said or make phone calls to various courts, do some research or obtain land registry office copy entries for the fee earners. I’ll normally leave the office around 5:30, but it can be a little later if there’s something pressing that needs doing before the end of the day.
I love that from an early stage I’ve been given the opportunity to represent the firm on my own. Our Harrogate office is the Stowe Family Law headquarters, so I get to work with the accounts, billing and admin teams as well as the fee earners. I really enjoy feeling welcomed as a part of the team.
Since starting my training contract, I think that the most helpful skill required is to be well organised. Of course, having communication and teamwork skills are really important, as is being very commercially aware. But if you come across a file that is in a complete mess, or looks on the computer and the documents you should have aren’t there, it makes everything so much harder. The organisation is definitely key to working efficiently and helping you get a good understanding of what you’re doing. Unfortunately, it’s just one of those things that you either have or you don’t.
My top piece of advice to anyone thinking of getting into family law – especially at Stowe – is to get some work experience. It doesn’t even need to actually be at Stowe, but having that time working in an actual office and seeing what goes on behind the scenes is a huge advantage. Learning the law is one thing, but putting it into practise is a completely different ball game. I did a lot of work experience at Stowe prior to being asked to come for interview.
I found out about Stowe Family Law because they attend the ULaw law fair. Since the firm is so close to ULaw’s Leeds and Chester campuses it makes sense for them to have representatives at the fair.
The ULaw careers team are one of the biggest assets to help set you up for success. They were instrumental in helping me structure my CV and advised me how to fill in training contract applications or present myself at law fairs. While the course taught me the legal knowledge needed to qualify as a lawyer, the careers team taught me how to be an employable lawyer.