When it comes to applying for training contracts, there are hundreds of firms to choose from. Of course in today’s competitive environment, acquiring that training contract is the most important goal. However, looking forward, being selective about the firms you apply to is key. Different firms have different attitudes, and training can differ greatly from one firm to the next. Howes Percival places great emphasis on training and developing individuals, which made the firm a stand out choice when I was applying for a training contract.
Howes Percival is a firm with ambition. As a trainee, I find this one of the firm’s most attractive qualities. The firm’s target is to be ranked within the top 100 law firms in the country within the next few years. This provides me with a great incentive, knowing that any hard work I put in can be a contributing factor towards the growth of Howes Percival.
In 2015, the firm opened their sixth office in central Cambridge. Howes Percival have also recently moved into new modern offices in Milton Keynes, Northampton and Norwich. Not only does Howes Percival wish to grow, but this is recent evidence of the firm continuing to do so. As a trainee, it is exciting to be part of an ambitious, forward thinking firm.
Howes Percival involve trainees in ‘real’ legal work from an early stage. The firm recognises that this is the best way for trainees to learn, and the responsibility I have will provide a great foundation for my future legal career. Whilst some ‘admin’ tasks are inevitable as a trainee, they come few and far between. A senior member of staff will always supervise your work, providing guidance, helping you develop your knowledge. Despite this supervision, trainees are always encouraged to show initiative where appropriate. Howes Percival is a great firm for any trainee prepared to take on responsibility and become involved in legal work from an early stage.
The people at Howes Percival are one of firm’s stand out factors. It is important to have good communication skills here, as team work is highly valued. At the start of my training contract, I worried about asking senior partners questions, not wanting to disturb them. However, I soon realised that every member of staff is very approachable at Howes Percival and will happily answer any queries you may have. As a trainee you are not expected to know everything from day one, so it is important to feel comfortable talking to different people within the firm.
Not only is the approachability of staff members important, but the friendliness around the firm makes work an enjoyable experience. I have been fortunate enough to work in both the Cambridge and Norwich offices, and this friendly, vibrant atmosphere is replicated in both offices. For any new trainee, a good atmosphere within the firm is extremely important, and Howes Percival strive to have this across all of their offices.
At Howes Percival, there is the opportunity to have fun away from the office too. Trainees are encouraged to attend networking events and represent the firm. The trust that is placed in trainees from an early stage has really increased my confidence when networking, and this trust is not necessarily reciprocated in all law firms.
Howes Percival also has an Annual General Meeting, where all employees from each office meet at a selected venue each year. Whilst there is a formal aspect to it, last year’s event took place at Woburn Safari Park, which was a good day out! The trainees also separately meet up once each year for a night out. Whilst hard work takes place during the week, there are plenty of opportunities to have fun away from the office at Howes Percival.