Work Experience – Hannah Chapman Y12

At first, I really struggled to get a work experience placement, particularly as I want to study Law at university and eventually go into the law profession but placements in law are so difficult to get and I began to worry. However, after a lot of searching, I managed to get myself a placement in Chorley Council’s Legal Department for a week, and I was so excited to start as the prospect of gaining legal work experience within a working environment really appealed to me. I arrived on the Monday morning a nervous wreck, but I shouldn’t have worried as I was greeted by friendly staff who set me up at my own desk and talked me through what their job requires and told me what typical cases they deal with on a day to day basis.

I was then set different tasks as a form of ‘training’ in the first few days, such as reviewing cases, drafting different legal documents such as a ‘statement of facts’ and answering a series of questions on different cases. I also got to experience different aspects to the legal profession as I had the opportunity to go out with welfare officers and look at places that had been flagged up as having a legal issue. This was a real eye-opening experience for me and allowed me to look at some of the key problems we have within our communities and how they are resolved, in legal terms.

Overall the placement at Chorley Council was much better than I had expected it to be as I was given opportunities to do so many different things that span across the law profession which gave me a broader spectrum of options and a greater idea of which area of law I would like to go into in the future. Furthermore, in terms of the actual tasks I had to complete, I gained skills such as communication, particularly with the public and the professionals. I was also able to demonstrate my time management and resilience as the days were long and the work was at such a high level that it took real determination to pull through and keep going with it.

I am particularly thankful for the staff at the placement who were very nice to me and welcomed me in, as well as the other departments within the council who were more than willing to help me with any queries I had. Although I completed my experience in Chorley and it seems strange to travel this distance for work experience, I am actually glad I did because it allowed me to be put in a situation out of my comfort zone. Doing this has allowed me to gain confidence when meeting new people, being in a new place and immersing myself in different circumstances to what I’m used to. This made me feel so much more confident about going away to university, and I feel much more equipped to deal with the workload, and the unfamiliar surroundings I will face…

Hannah Chapman (Year 12 student)