We are proud to be one of the leading firms involved with the Law in Practice programme operated by Queen Mary University of London. Family law, probably more than any other area, impacts individuals across every level of our society and our team strives to resolve conflict and make a positive difference to people going through what is often one of the hardest times in their lives.

As part of this programme, we take on a student intern for a year as a family law paralegal. This is a unique opportunity for students to see how the law they have studied is applied in real life. For the student, there is evidence that work place placement has a positive impact on skill growth and a positive correlation with overall degree results.

Abigail Wadlow joined us as a paralegal for her placement year in 2022/23. Below is her feedback on the experience:

“I became aware of Bross Bennett during my second year of university, as I was heavily involved with the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre (QMLAC). The Centre provides free legal advice to the public and I worked with solicitors from the firm who acted as the supervisors for the family law cases. During my experience as a student advisor at the clinic, I was extremely impressed with the work the firm did, their enthusiasm and expertise.

As part of my role as a paralegal, I assisted on a wide range of matters across the family law spectrum and gained invaluable exposure to the following areas; divorce, finances and children, occupation/non-molestation applications, cohabitation, and pre-nuptial agreements.  Bross Bennett also provides a will and LPA writing service. I have enjoyed being involved in this area to gain insight into wills and trusts law.

During my time at the firm, I have had the opportunity to work alongside almost everyone in the firm. This has enabled me to observe their differing working styles and the different work they do. It has also opened my eyes to how diverse family law is. It was very different from academic law taught at university. 

I have enjoyed the close client contact that I have been exposed to and meeting new people from various backgrounds. One of the highlights of my time at Bross Bennett has been travelling to different courts in surrounding areas to attend hearings. For example, the Royal Courts of Justice and Oxford family court. My role when attending court is to take an attendance note of the hearing and to provide support to the client and barrister.

The experience of seeing the case evolve from initial client meetings through to hearings has been extremely rewarding. As well as gaining exposure and being a part of the varied and interesting work solicitors do in preparing cases for hearings. It has also taught me about the court process and how contentious areas of law operate. During my time I also got to know the various other people that solicitors work with regularly such as barristers, clerks and the court.

I have also enjoyed being challenged and occasionally undertaking trainee level tasks such as drafting briefs to counsel, letters to the other side and to the court as well as consent orders and court applications. For example, out of time decree absolute applications and form A applications to begin financial remedy proceedings.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has an interest in family law. My placement was a fantastic experience and I learnt so much about the sector.”

Watch more about Abbie’s placement year at Bross Bennett here.