NFU Trainee Solicitor Scheme

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The NFU offers an exciting Trainee Solicitor Scheme based with its Legal Affairs Team at NFU HQ in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.

The NFU's Legal Affairs Team is a small, busy team. We are committed to providing high-quality legal advice to the NFU’s Officeholders and Directors and staff across the country, as well as providing legal support to the NFU’s farmer and grower members.

As a Trainee Solicitor within our department, you’ll be working in a fast-paced environment where variety is paramount. You’ll gain experience in many areas of law, which will broaden your knowledge, skills and experience. In addition you’ll also benefit from a secondment of up to three months with one of our panel firms to gain experience and insight of litigation in a private practice environment.

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Key dates

  • Applications close: 24 April 2019
  • Assessment centre: 21 May 2019
  • Second stage interview: June 2019

What does the scheme involve?

We want to provide our Trainee Solicitors with tailored comprehensive legal training, and a detailed understanding of the industry. We will provide you with experience of as many areas of the organisation as possible. This is likely to include some travel to our offices throughout England, Wales, and possibly Brussels, including overnight trips.

Farm visits and member meetings are also likely to be included as part of your training experience, to provide you with a greater understanding of the agricultural industry and the needs and requirements of our members.

Your training will encompass all of the Solicitors Regulation Authority Practice Skills Standards and will provide an excellent grounding for qualification as a Solicitor. It will include:

  • A variety of experience through individual assignments, research and team project work with other technical specialists within the NFU.
  • Attendance on and completion of the Professional Skills Course.
  • A placement of up to three months with one of the NFU's panel firms where you will focus on litigation and ADR (with access to a relocation fund, where relocation is required).
  • Support and guidance from a dedicated Training Principal, as well as other qualified Solicitors within the NFU Legal Affairs Team.

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What our trainees say:

Kieran Pearson

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Kieran is our current Trainee Solicitor. Here's what he says about his experience so far...

Kieran says:

"The NFU Trainee Solicitor Scheme has provided me with a wealth of experience and exposure to a real variety of areas of law.

"The structure of the NFU Trainee Solicitor Scheme is a little different to a rotational seat-based model and I have been involved with advising on different areas of law from day one.

"I have had the opportunity to be involved in various national cases including judicial reviews and an intervention in a Supreme Court appeal.

"I have also been part of ongoing projects focusing on environmental law, water law, powers of entry, and European Union law to name a few.

"I have also been able to take the opportunity of a secondment to one of the NFU’s panel firms and this has allowed me to gain an invaluable understanding of private practice.

"The NFU has been a great place to work and train, and I have thoroughly relished my time learning from the experienced solicitors and industry experts in the organisation."

Oliver Lewis

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Oliver completed his training with the NFU and now works for a firm of solicitors based in Cheshire and North Shropshire.

Oliver says:

"The training I received at the NFU was completely different to the training experienced by my law school friends who went into private practice.

"Firstly, the variety of different areas of law which you are exposed to with the NFU Scheme is vast. Every day was different. One day I would be advising NFU colleagues on the statutory compensatory provisions for goats suffering with scrapie, the next I was in the Upper Lands Tribunal sitting alongside NFU colleagues and counsel representing a member whose land had been damaged by flooding. It was this variety which really drew me to applying for the NFU Trainee Solicitor Scheme.

"My experience as a trainee enabled me to develop my skills as a solicitor. It has allowed me to adapt to any legal challenge which I am now presented with post-qualification.

"Secondly, the quality of work I was involved in, and worked on, was first class. It really felt like I was making a difference working on something affecting numerous farming members, families and their businesses – especially if you achieved a positive outcome at the end.

"The support and guidance I received during my training was excellent. By the end of my training contract, I honestly felt like I was a valuable member of a small legal family."

Last edited on: 06:03:2019

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