Leeds Law School

My one-year placement with Plexus Law

I am coming to the end of an amazing year working at Plexus Law, where I have had the pleasure of being a Trainee Legal Assistant. It has probably been one of the most peculiar years to work, with a pandemic happening midway through. However, the pandemic has allowed me to quickly develop skills such as being adaptable, managing a large workload and has encouraged me to become more established within a team.
Published on 12 Aug 2020

My placement year has allowed me to become part of a great team and develop my knowledge of the legal sector, well beyond my expectations. I have undertaken a few roles during my placement, such as doing the administrative work for a range of logistics and delivery companies, as well as becoming a part of the recoveries team in the motor department. I have been given more responsibility than an ‘intern’ and consequently, this has boosted my confidence and my ability to perform in the firm. Furthermore, the placement has allowed me to develop my understanding of commercial awareness, professional business skills and how to work to a regimented schedule. 

Maintaining a good work pattern has been the most challenging yet most rewarding changes for me. Being a student, you often forget the importance of waking up early and having a healthy schedule for work and recreational activities. Having to be awake early and in the office by 9 (or 8 some days) has encouraged me to plan and organise myself to ensure I’m as productive as possible. This ranges from organising my fitness schedule or social activities to preparing information I may need for the following day. This skill is something I hope to take into my final year of university, and I am sure it will encourage me to be more productive.

Additionally, the placement module programme with the university has guided me well, as well as the help I’ve received from Plexus along the way. At the start of my placement, I created a ‘learning contract’ which set out what I wanted to achieve from my placement. This guided me and helped me stay focused throughout the year. Comparing the mindset, I had at the beginning of my employment to now is amazing – just being able to see how much I’ve learned and how far I've come. 

In summary, I would highly recommend a placement year to any student, especially in law. It helps build confidence, encourage professional relationships and eases you into life after university. I would also recommend Plexus highly as an employer. My managers and colleagues have gone above and beyond during one of the most difficult and strangest years of my life, and I am thankful every day that I’ve been able to work with them all. I have loved my job and look forward to my future in the legal sector.

Nykki-Marie Smith

Nykki is currently a Leeds Law School student.

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