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A Reflection Of My Overall Experience Of The Work Placement

In this essay, I will give an overview of my experience of the work placement mentioning how I managed to obtain the specific learning outcomes of the module. For me, this placement was mainly about getting vital legal work experience, which I could list on my curriculum vitae (CV) and which would thus help me to gain access to the legal profession. Having read several articles, I realised that recruiters at City firms have recently complained that the ‘quality of applicants has not been as good this year as previously…they had weak career motivation.’1 Tromans also stated that because so many students had done extremely well in qualifications, firms are looking for new criteria to pick trainees.

I have learnt that along with an impressive academic record, firms are seeking students who can demonstrate that they have chosen this career path for a reason. At this point, I realised that legal work experience is a significant factor that is taken into account when deciding applicants and will prove the necessary determination and motivation required. Therefore, this placement has boosted my CV in the form of adding to my list of various legal work experiences, which will boost my employability and hopefully enhance my chances of securing a training contract in the near future.

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In addition to boosting my CV, I also believe that this placement has helped me to decide whether I would be good enough and whether I would enjoy the role of a solicitor in that type of legal environment. During the placement, I always took time out to observe fellow colleagues in their roles and gained a good idea of what their daily tasks consisted of. I noticed that on many occasions they became stressed out with clients or with solicitors from other firms they had been dealing with. They also had to work punishing and tiring hours often with little breaks. This aspect of life as a solicitor is obviously a drawback but if I am to become a successful solicitor I will have to learn to cope with the pressure and stress as it will be an integral part of my work.

Recording my daily experiences in the form of a diary proved very useful to me. A weakness of mine is that I have a bad long term memory so at the end of each working day, using my organisational skills, I wrote down my personal experience at work in order to combat this weakness, which also enabled me to write my portfolio fluently without the fear of forgetting to include important events whilst they were fresh in my mind. I also learnt that effective diary-keeping will help me manage my time as I will be ‘responsible for organising most of my study time which can be challenging when there are other commitments at work, family, and friends to fit in.’ On several occasions, I had to apply skills developed during my study of LSP2 in order to tackle an obstacle and in order to complete a task. One occasion in particular that comes to mind is when I sought to broaden my legal research skills in obtaining information regarding access on a bridle path.

On this occasion, my negotiation, communication and IT skills were called upon in order to solve the problem and obtain further advice from a reluctant and stubborn operator. I was able to demonstrate good research skills by using many different sources to acquire information. In order to complete my various tasks, I visited the Law Society Library 3 as well as seeking information from textbooks and Internet websites. These research skills will prove useful when I am a trainee solicitor and I am required to search for information. From these experiences, I have realised that I have a “preference for the ‘Reflector Style’ of learning”4 in that I am able to carry out some painstaking research, as I did in the Law Society Library; am able to stand back from events and listen/observe, such as when I attended the meeting at Slaughter and May. I believe it is this style that I am most suited to and learn best from such activities, which I have demonstrated during my work experience.

I was also required to demonstrate my oral communication skills when I was asked to give my views on the war on Iraq in front of a group, which is a skill I am not particularly confident at, as identified in my swot analysis. Although at first I was intimidated and uncomfortable about discussing this issue, I believe that I benefited from it through improving my self-confidence. From this experience, I have learnt to be more confident and less shy in situations like these as it is a vital skill to possess for future success. It is important to mention that I was able to practice the art of networking during my placement. From being sociable, polite and hardworking I was able to build useful contacts and gain a summer placement. My employer, who expressed his sincere gratitude for all my hard work, offered me a summer placement, which I kindly accepted.

Working at this firm was very demanding and as a result, I was required to put my time management skills to good use in order to allocate sufficient time for my other university commitments. My weekly tasks took up a lot of my time and therefore I had to plan my time effectively in order to balance my university schedule so that my other subjects did not suffer as a result. Through frequently reading case judgments, textbooks and articles, I noticed that my vocabulary slightly improved as a result, which I had aimed to achieve as identified in my key skills self-assessment. Through my continual reading around this subject, I also improved my understanding of various legal concepts in civil litigation, such as personal injury and copyright law and will ultimately benefit from this knowledge gained if I decide to specialise in this area of law. Therefore, I was able to enhance the quality of my academic knowledge, learning, and the application of that learning to the workplace.

Having provided a detailed analysis of my personal experience at the firm and researched various areas of experiential learning, I have become aware that ‘learning is supposed to occur by reflecting on experience.’ Moon states that ‘experiential learning refers to the organizing and construction of learning from observations that have been made in some practical situation, with the implication that the learning can then lead to improved action.’6 With regard to my experience at the firm, I believe that I have developed and gained vital skills required in the future. I feel I have learnt from my mistakes, for example, I felt the need to improve my time management skills when I failed to complete the research task given to me in the Law Society Library the first time around, which I was able to correct next time. This clearly demonstrates the need to learn from past experiences.

Throughout my research and further reading on the topic of reflection in experiential learning, I came across a theory stating that ‘learning leads to the action that is, in effect, experimentation, which leads to more experience of reflection.’ This is expressed in Kolb’s cycle of experiential learning in which a learner changes from actor to observer ensuring that the learner does progress in their learning. In light of this theory, I believe that this is a correct approach to adopt in that students/learners must learn from their past experiences and aim to develop their skills for future situations. This is an approach I believe I adopted throughout my work experience.

Donald Sch ½n makes reference to two main processes of reflection in professional practice – reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action. His views suggest that ‘reflection-in-action occurs in situations where the action yields unexpected consequences whereas reflection-on-action in the form of reflection that occurs after action.’8 I believe that my learning experience involved both these processes, in that I was able to look back in a critical way at what had occurred and ‘use the results to tackle new situations,’ as I did when I successfully completed the Law Society Library research second time round.

In the end, I believe that I benefited tremendously from this work placement and I have my employer to thank for providing me with this opportunity. During my time with the firm, I developed a greater understanding in relation to civil litigation and put into practice key legal and work-related skills, such as negotiating and interpersonal skills, respectively. I have also concluded that ‘self-awareness is an essential part of interaction skills in that one has to be aware of one’s own prejudices, fears, wishes and starting points to see how they affect the interaction.’10 I also enhanced my employability by developing both my “key” skills such as ‘communication, numeracy, the use of information technology and learning how to learn,’11 and my “soft skills” such as self-motivation, initiative, creative problem analysis and willingness to learn. I will now be able to list these experiences on my CV and future job applications.

  •  Tromans, R, “Tools of the trade,” Legal Week, Spring 2004, p. 5
  • Cottrell, S, ‘The Study Skills Handbook,’ Palgrave Study Guides, 2nd Edition, p. 74
  • 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
  • Honey, P and Mumford, A, ‘Using your Learning Styles’, 2nd Edition, 1986, p. 12
  • Moon, J.A, ‘Reflection in Learning and Professional Development: Theory and Practice,’ Kogan Page, 1999, p. 21
  • ibid n. 5
  • ibid n. 5
  • ibid n.5 p. 45
  • ibid n. 5 p. 59
  • Pohjonen, S and Lindblom – Yl�nne, S, “Challenges for teaching interaction skills for law students,” The Law Teacher, vol. 36, 2002, p. 295
  • Bell, J, “Key Skills in the Law Curriculum and Self Assessment,” The Law Teacher, vol. 34, 2000,

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A Reflection Of My Overall Experience Of The Work Placement. (2021, Apr 15). Retrieved May 9, 2021, from https://essayscollector.com/essays/a-reflection-of-my-overall-experience-of-the-work-placement/