As many will know, when you are in the depths of motherhood the years seem to move at a rate faster than the speed of light. Before you know it they are both off to school and nursery and you’re left sitting at home wondering… what do I do now?

I studied and carried out LPC exams whilst pregnant with my little boy. I also sat my Solicitor’s Accounts exam whilst pregnant with my little girl and I love that they were part of my journey. Before studying for my LPC I did my Law degree at Essex and then a Masters shortly after that. All the cogs were in place for me to start applying for training contracts but then came my children, shortly followed by a pandemic and numerous lockdowns. With the aforementioned came a very slow burning lack of belief that I could walk back into that world after what became nearly five years absent.

I decided to start from scratch and researched local law firms, one by one. I thought about the location, what they had to offer in terms of different departments and relied on the instinct I had from perusing websites and reviews. Thompson Smith and Puxon (TSP) stood out to me immediately. From the advert for Trainee applications on their website I could see that they had a genuine interest in recruiting trainees, not only to help them qualify, but to see them become a part of the future of the TSP. This is the sort of culture which was very important to me in terms of where I would like to work.

Fast forward a couple of months and with the initial dread of rejection having subsided, I was delighted to receive a reply from TSP inviting me along to a work experience week in July 2023. I didn’t know what to expect or what may come out of it but I was determined to make the most of the opportunity and importantly to enjoy it and bemyself.

The week commenced in July 2023 and it was an amazing experience, especially for me, someone who had very little experience of working in a law firm. On the first day of the work experience week we met with Amanda and Nicola who were so friendly and professional. They really put us at ease from the word go. I got to experience a different department each day, getting a feel for each one. I met so many people that I now call not only colleagues, but friends, and each and every one was friendly, engaging and genuine. It was so refreshing to come along to such a well organised and worthwhile week of work experience. It was clear each department was very prepared for the week and every different team made me feel very welcome. I remember not wanting it to end on the last day, almost like your last day of a long awaited holiday.

As clichéd as it sounds, from the minute I arrived that week and walked into reception I knew this was where I wanted to be. When the week ended I told my husband “I will be working there one day”, slightly in jest. I am so pleased I was right.

After receiving positive feedback from those that I met and worked with that week I was delighted to be hired as a legal secretary in October, only three months after my work experience commenced. I am currently working as a secretary in the Dispute Resolution department which I LOVE. I have learnt so much and am forever grateful for the experience.

My experience demonstrates the effectiveness of the scheme and how it is an excellent way for both candidate, and firm, to get a feel for each other and their compatibility for the future.

After around three months of working at TSP I took part in the Training Contract Assessment process. I won’t reveal too much about it but it was another great day where I felt completely pushed out of my comfort zone, in a very good way. Receiving the email to confirm I had been successful and was soon to be a Trainee Solicitor at TSP was one of my proudest and most memorable moments. I am very excited to be a part of the Trainee cohort which I can already tell from my time here is an extremely well established programme.

When I reflect upon the process as a whole, I always feel like I got really lucky but I have been trying to let myself take some credit for it too. With the help of my amazing colleagues at TSP I am now extremely excited and hopeful for the future and my career as a Solicitor.

Sorrel Macey