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Rachel Bell

Rachel .bell

Position: Trainee Solicitor
Joined: 2016
Office: Glasgow

Why did you choose Harper Macleod?

I chose to apply to Harper Macleod as I had heard from previous summer students that they had been given a large amount of responsibility in their role and great exposure to cases. I had undertaken work experience before where I had been put in a room photocopying; therefore I thought this would be much more beneficial to my legal career. 

What did your Summer Placement involve?

The first day of the placement will go by really quick, as you get full IT, security and data protection training. You also get a talk from various people from the firm ranging from meeting solicitors, to the chief executive who describe their job and their work within the firm. I undertook a 6 week placement specialising in banking law. 

What was your highlight during placement?

My main task was focused on legal research as I was given the opportunity to edit Professor Lorne Crerar’s “Banking Law in Scotland” textbook and to undertake research into areas such as the financial crisis in 2007 and reforms that have occurred as a result. It was a highlight of the placement to work directly with the chairman of Harper Macleod and getting an insight in to his world! 

How did placement prepare you for becoming a Trainee?

This experience gave me a unique awareness of current developments in banking law. Also, I applied a lot of what I had learnt when I went back to University and ended up doing my honours dissertation on banking law- despite never doing a class on the area, as what I had experienced and researched during the summer placement were great building blocks to begin my research.

What advice do you have to people looking for a Summer Placement and Challenges you may face?

The placement gives students great practical experience in the legal industry. Despite how much we learn at University, nothing can teach you all the skills required for the job of a solicitor until you have been practically working in that job. You get a feel for what is expected of you, and what level you need to perform at. 

At this stage in your career, it will be useful to you to get as much experience in as many different areas of law and sectors as you can. When I was asked what area I would like my placement to be in, I said that I didn’t mind where I was placed as long as it was with Harper Macleod. I think this is a good approach and when looking for a summer placement always keep your mind open to different opportunities in diverse areas. As a trainee, each seat teaches you a variety of new and totally different skills. 

How has your Harper Macleod Experience been so far?

From day one at Harper Macleod you are treated like an employee of the firm and as part of the team. Although this sounds cliché, it really is beneficial to be in this environment when at an early stage of your career, as it allows you to perform to the best of your abilities. 

Describe Harper Macleod and it's people in 5 words?

  1. Innovative
  2. Original
  3. Driven
  4. Inclusive
  5. Effective

The placement also gives students great practical experience in the legal industry. Despite how much we learn at University, nothing can teach you all the skills required for the job of a solicitor until you have been practically working in that job. Rachel Bell