Lucy Schofield: My Week at Astle Paterson Solicitors

To be able to spend a week placement at Astle Paterson Solicitors in Burton is truly an experience I will never forget.  My week began on Monday 26th March. I do have to admit, I was feeling extremely nervous. Being the first time I had ever set foot in a Solicitors firm, I did not know what to expect. As I walked through the front door, I was immediately greeted by the lovely receptionist who made me feel more at ease. Following this, I was given a tour of the building by the Practice Manager and I was introduced to all the staff across the different departments. After I had finally settled my nerves, I was given my first task which was to sort out the invoices and place them in number order. This was the perfect task to allow me to get used to my surroundings and allow me to feel more comfortable and confident in completing tasks for the firm. The rest of my first day consisted of helping the Commercial Property and the Wills and Probate department. Both departments consisted of very friendly staff who were all willing to give me an insight into their work. 
On my second day, I did not feel nervous at all due to all the staff being extremely friendly on my first day. I was set a big task for the day where I had to navigate my way through the online system in order to see what cases could be closed and which ones needed to be sorted out further. This task took up the majority of my day and was very enjoyable as it allowed me to feel confident that people were trusting me with these responsibilities. Fortunately, I was also able to sit in during two meetings with clients. This gave an insight into how Solicitors build a relationship with their clients. I was also able to attend a staff meeting with the Commercial Property department which was really interesting.  
On my third day, my time was mainly spent in the Conveyancing Department. I was set the task of trying to find the files that I had previously been working on the day before. This was exciting as I was given the independence of completing a task I had spent so much time on the day before. During my third day I also got to spend some of time in the Litigation department. Here, I was given the task of typing up notes a Judge had made from a case. I also scanned in documents for the Litigation department so that they could give their client back the original copies the following day. 
Finally, on my last day my time was mainly spent in the Commercial Property department and also Wills and Probate department. In the morning I was given files that needed print outs and I had to place them in order of those that could be cleared. I was also able to help one of the Solicitors on her task which was very exciting as it allowed me to gain an insight into the work of a Commercial Property Solicitor. In the afternoon, I made my way over to the Wills and Probate department where I was able to be a witness to a couple signing their wills. This was a very fascinating experience.
Overall, I would like to thank all staff at Astle Paterson for allowing me to have an enjoyable week that I will never forget and for all being extremely friendly and welcoming. I would mainly like to thank Sally Wileman for organising this amazing experience and making me feel so welcome during my time there. It has allowed me to gain a valuable insight that I will truly never forget.