My Week's Work Experience - Brendan O'Keeffe

I recently finished a week’s work experience at Lanyon Bowdler’s office in Shrewsbury. It started on Monday 16 December. All my contact with Lanyon Bowdler prior to starting the work experience was extremely impressive. I was mainly in contact with Lucy Speed to organise the best time to arrange it. Lucy was very considerate to the fact that I am a university student and helped me arrange a time to fit around my studies. This immediately gave the impression that I would be welcomed upon my arrival at Lanyon Bowdler, as it was clear that Lucy was trying to ensure that the experience was done at a time that was good for me, so I could get the most out of it.

Day One – First Day Nerves

Even after this reassuring contact, I found myself optimistic but still quite nervous when the first day rolled around. Upon arriving at Lanyon Bowdler’s office any nerves I had were immediately quelled as I entered reception to meet various members of staff on the reception desk, who seemed very friendly and approachable, with a real emphasis on helping me get to where I needed to be. I explained I had been corresponding with Lucy Speed and that I was here for a work experience placement. Reception welcomed me and phoned Lucy to let her know I had arrived. While I waited I had a really good conversation with the staff on reception, who expressed that they hoped I would enjoy my week. When I met Lucy she seemed genuinely happy to meet me and sat down with me to go over an induction. She explained that I would be in various departments over the week starting with her in the Court of Protection department. I was given an outline of what my week would look like and with whom.

My Week

Throughout my week I was able to experience a wide range of departments within Lanyon Bowdler - Court of Protection, marketing, clinical negligence, employment and personal injury. I witnessed an array of the different areas that the firm deals with and met lots of different people with vast knowledge of their respected fields. A highlight for me was the ability to see how each department responded to the intricacies of their clients’ needs, which helped drive home the idea that no two clients’ requirements are identical and that you need to adapt accordingly to ensure a high quality service is delivered. Although the areas of law changed, each department maintained this client focus approach, emphasising the importance of the clients’ needs and desires.

Whenever I entered a new department I was always introduced to all the staff I would be working alongside. This removed any worries I had about being an outsider observing the workplace and made me feel like I was part of a team, even though I was only in each department for a small amount of time. The more open-planned office style helped with this a lot, as there was always someone to ask for help or just to bounce an idea off, despite being busy due to the Christmas period. I always felt like time was taken to explain each department’s role and function so that I could understand what was going on around me. Whenever I would ask any of the staff a question, you could see they were taking it very seriously and taking time to consider it and give me the best answer possible. Having this understanding meant I could follow the work that was going on and learn a lot as a result. Later in the week I was able to sit in on client meetings as well as departmental meetings and this solidified the idea that the staff at Lanyon Bowdler wanted me to get as much out of this week as possible. I also got to see the principles I had learnt regarding clients in action. Both before and after the meetings someone sat down with me to make sure I was able to follow it and not merely witness it, allowing me to take valuable lessons from these interactions. Without this I imagine I would have felt very lost, reducing the amount I would have been able to take away from the experience.

Diversity and Equality

I will briefly mention Lanyon Bowdler’s approach to diversity. This was extremely important, as I was applying for work experience with a disability meaning that I am wheelchair-bound. This was one of the main things I was nervous about, as I was concerned about how it may limit me. But throughout my week accessing the office was easy and without issue. I have been able to participate in everything that was planned, allowing me to relax and really take in the week as I had no concerns on my mind. This level of accessibility cannot happen by accident, as I have learnt over the years, and speaks of Lanyon Bowdler’s genuine commitment to diversity and equality.

It has been a great environment to do work experience in. It was friendly and welcoming without compromising professionalism and pushed my ability with challenging and engaging tasks throughout the week.

 

Please note that the deadline for 2020 work experience applications is 15 January 2020. If you would like to apply for work experience at Lanyon Bowdler, please send your CV and covering letter to work.experience@lblaw.co.uk.