Archive for the ‘Personal Injury Solicitors in Birmingham’ Category

HOW TO QUALIFY AS A SOLICITOR

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

I am a Personal Injury Solicitor at Personal Injury Pal which is the Personal Injury Department of Coley & Tilley Solicitors, Birmingham.

Helen Powell, Personal Injury Pal, Personal Injury Solicitors Birmingham

My aim is to offer a step-by-step guide on “how to qualify as a solicitor.”

My background

I first decided I wanted to be a solicitor when I was giving evidence for the prosecution in a Magistrates’ Court.  I was in awe of the criminal solicitor who was vigorously defending his client.  I knew immediately that I wanted to pursue a career in law as a solicitor.

I have never been a criminal solicitor because of the unsociable hours which would have been impossible as my children were only young at the start of my training.

It was a struggle for me to complete the route necessary to qualify as a solicitor.  Not only did I have young children, but I also worked. Firstly, I completed my law degree which I did part-time.  Then the legal practice course and finally the relevant training before reaching my ultimate goal:- I was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in August 2005!

I have worked in personal injury since the Year 2000 only diverting once for one year when I trained in family law.

I do enjoy my job and have no regrets, although it is a tough career with plenty of challenges thrown into the mix, usually on a daily basis.  I meet clients most days, the phone never seems to stop ringing and then it’s back to the paperwork. There are decisions to be made, problems to solve, all of which require you to take the occasional risk.  I negotiate settlements and there is nothing more rewarding than at the end of the personal injury claim than handing my client a cheque for compensation for their injuries.  I do attend court, but it is less likely if you are a personal injury solicitor, than say if you are a family or criminal solicitor. I am also becoming more involved in marketing, including digital marketing.

THE DIFFERENT ROUTES ON HOW TO QUALIFY AS A SOLICITOR

The Law Graduate Route to qualify as a solicitor

  1. Degree in Law* (3 years full time)
  2. Legal Practice Course* (1 year full time)
  3. Training Contract** (2 years in practice based training)
  4. Professional Skills Course (12 days tuition whilst in practice based training)
  5. Admission to Roll – Qualified Solicitor     (6 years altogether)

*Part-time courses available.

**Training Contract –The Solicitors Regulations Authority have now published guidance (July 2014) allowing paralegals who have passed a legal practise course to qualify as solicitors without having to complete a formal training contract.  The SRA has stressed that the equivalent means of training will be no less rigorous.

The Non-Law Graduate Route to qualify as a solicitor

  1. Degree in any subject*(3 years full time)
  2. Graduate Diploma in Law* (1 year full time)
  3. Legal Practice Course* (1 year full time)
  4. Training Contract** (2 years in practice based training)
  5. Professional Skills Course (12 days tuition whilst in practice based training)
  6. Admission to Roll – Qualified Solicitor     (7 years altogether)

*Part-time courses available.

**Training Contract –The Solicitors Regulations Authority have now published guidance (July 2014) allowing paralegals who have passed a legal practise course to qualify as solicitors without having to complete a formal training contract.  The SRA has stressed that the equivalent means of training will be no less rigorous.

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) Route to qualify as a solicitor

Member Route

(No period of qualifying legal employment is required – but you need a training contract)

  1. CILEX exams undertaken
  • CILEX Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice
  • CILEX Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice
  • CILEX Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice
  • (4 years part-time usually whilst gaining employment experience in legal work)
  1. Graduate Member of CILEX
  2. Legal Practice Course* (Usually employed and would probably opt for part-time 2 years)
  3. Training Contract** (2 years in practice based training)
  4. Professional Skills Course (12 days tuition whilst in practice based training)
  5. Admission to Roll – Qualified Solicitor     (8 years altogether)

*Full time courses available.

**Training Contract –The Solicitors Regulations Authority have now published guidance (July 2014) allowing paralegals who have passed a legal practise course to qualify as solicitors without having to complete a formal training contract.  The SRA has stressed that the equivalent means of training will be no less rigorous.

Fellowship Route

(This route involves working and training under the supervision of a solicitor for 2 years after gaining membership therefore exempt training contract)

  1. CILEX exams undertaken
  • CILEX Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice
  • CILEX Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice
  • CILEX Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice
  • (4 years part-time usually whilst gaining employment experience in legal work)
  1. Graduate Member of CILEX
  2. Completion of 5 years employment experience in legal work, including at least 2 years consecutive experience which falls after the completion of CILEX Level 6 exam
  3. Fellowship of CILEX
  4. Legal Practice Course* (Usually employed and would probably opt for part-time 2 years)
  5. Professional Skills Course (12 days tuition whilst in practice based training)
  6. Admission to Roll – Qualified Solicitor     (8 years altogether)

*Full time courses available.

Graduate “Fast Track” Diploma Route

(Exempt training contract)

  1. Law Degree (3 years full time)
  2. Graduate “Fast Track” Diploma* (Usually employed and would probably opt for part-time 2 years)
  3. Graduate Member of CILEX
  4. Completion of 5 years employment experience in legal work, including at least 2 years consecutive experience which falls after the completion of Graduate “Fast Track” Diploma
  5. Fellowship of CILEX
  6. Legal Practice Course* (Usually employed and would probably opt for part-time 2 years)
  7. Professional Skills Course (12 days tuition whilst in practice based training)
  8. Admission to Roll – Qualified Solicitor     (10 years altogether)

*Full time courses available.

(More detailed information can be found on the Law Society website and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executive’s website.)

Helen Powell, Personal Injury Pal, Personal Injury Solicitors Birmingham certificate

Personal Injury Pal, Personal Injury Solicitors, Birmingham wish you luck in whatever career you choose to pursue!

We are happy to help with any queries.  Please contact Helen Powell on 0121 643 5531 or by emailing her at helen.powell@coleyandtilley.co.uk

 

Do you need a Personal Injury Solicitor?

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Personal Injury Pal, Personal Injury Solicitors Birmingham would be happy to advise you about your Personal Injury Claim in Birmingham or elsewhere.

Our Personal Injury Solicitors in Birmingham understand that your personal injury claim in Birmingham is personal to you.  We treat you as an individual.  This is at the core of the service we want to offer you when dealing with your personal injury claim.

You may already have a personal injury solicitor acting for you in Birmingham or elsewhere. If you unhappy with the service they are offering you please contact us as we may be able to take over the file.

Sometimes firms of Solicitors go into Administration. Again we may be able to help. Please contact us.

 Accident Claim Birmingham - Woman redundant

Flash v Practical

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

As a regular train commuter I was quite excited to see what awaited me when the New Street Station was finally unveiled.

I accept it’s the first stage. I accept that there will always be the inevitable teething problems. However when these wonderful designers were actually putting pencil to paper did they look at the practicalities.

Arriving at main rush hour my train is one of three packed commuter trains to arrive at the same time on the same platform.

All three loads of commuters then exit via a very narrow path along the platform to one teeny escalator. The queues are horrendous. I wait patiently with cards at the ready for when one person pushes that bit too hard and another ends up in front of the 6.00 am from London Euston! You can actually feel tempers flare as it takes me at least 10 minutes to get off my train and onto the new concourse. I cant walk to another exit, as you have to get through the queues to get to the other exits! In any event that’s not the one I want to use to leave the station. It is a bottleneck that the M6 at rush hour would be proud of.

And where are the stairs!!!? In the age of obesity – let’s obliterate any sign of them!!!

Then finally the exits. The exit doors directly opposite the pedestrian crossing are fire doors so no-one can use them! There is a man paid to use those big foam hands to point you away from the pedestrian crossing!! If the man isn’t there I watch endless people exiting by what would be a natural route!

As with lots of things in our lives these days, New Street is all shiny and new but the day to day practicalities haven’t been thought through!! I can’t see these problems ever being resolved!

The Fossil!

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

You nurture your children so that they can survive in this demanding world, but at what age is the role reversal when they nurture you?

As far as technology is concerned I would estimate, when they are between 7 + 10 years old!

Personal Injury Solicitors Birmingham dinosaur-073104-2

I am a fossil, a dinosaur in the age of technology!  I suspect I am not alone.

I have accepted that I need to change.  Over the last couple of years, I have at least,  started to make in roads into cyber space and am now flying sky high on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, albeit perhaps with ‘L’ plates!

Personal Injury Pal is also embracing these social networking sites.  We are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube but there are dangers and like me you may need ‘L’ plates without realising!

Do you ever think about cyber security?

On my way to work on Monday morning I was sat on a train at a table of 4, with other commuters.  Across from me was a man, busy on his laptop.  The commuter sat next to computer man was having a good read of what he was doing throughout the journey until we reached Birmingham.  People stood up in the aisle to get off.  They also had a nosey at the computer screen. Whatever it was, who knows, but if confidential, this has now been breached. If private, the world now knows!!

You need to be on your guard all of the time.  I am bombarded with emails purporting to be from my bank, from the tax office, etc, all offering to help, asking for my log in details.  I know they are fraudsters.  My theory is if I need to contact my bank, I go in the building.

Remember all fossils and dinosaurs out there – treat passwords like bank details – don’t give them out!

Facebook

The “Fossil” was never going to go on Facebook!  Guess what?  The Fossil is now on Facebook!  I must say I am glad I took the plunge.  Yes, my daughter had set to it up for me.  Yes, I have to have alerts to my phone.  I have family and friends on there.  Some post regularly, some hardly ever, but I kind of feel closer to my family and friends.  Prior to Facebook I may not have heard from these people for months, maybe even years.

The Fossil likes nothing better than on the commute home to click on Facebook.   The posts offer light amusement and fun as well as opinions on current affairs.  You are free to comment if you wish.

Personal Injury Pal is using Facebook and writes regular, interesting and informative articles.

To all fossils and dinosaurs out there, you will need to open a Facebook account if you have not already got one.  Ask your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews to help. I am sure they will only be impressed by the move!  Once you have a Facebook account click the link from Personal Injury Pal webpage and then ‘Like’ us.

Feel free to add your comments on the discussion points.

The younger generation use Facebook as a search engine.  Instead of Google they search on Facebook for companies.  I used to use Yellow Pages, but I now use Google.   Maybe the Fossil will venture into this in time.

The age of the fossil and dinosaur may strike back.  Your years will count as you’ll probably soon build up more friends than your 10 year old!!

Just think about all those many birthday wishes.

It is a whole brave new world out there.

LinkedIn

This social networking site is more about connections with other businesses.  Usually people on LinkedIn are in work, university or college but anyone can log on.  Employees from one business will connect to employees from other businesses.  Students who will soon enter the job market will connect to LinkedIn as a way of promoting their skills in an attempt to find work.  There are many job agencies on there.

It is a useful tool to promote your business, attract work, and maybe even find a job.

Once you are on LinkedIn you can connect to a company, usually a company where you work or have worked.

Personal Injury Pal is on LinkedIn and will add business-type posts, so if you have a LinkedIn account, why not add us as a company.  Use the link from our website.

Twitter

Twitter is the social networking site which the Fossil knows least about!  The Fossil is fairly new to Twitter as can be seen by the few followers I have, but I am having a go.  You can follow anyone you like on ‘Twitter’ without them having to ‘add’ you.  For example you can follow the local newspapers, ie the Birmingham Mail or Birmingham Post to get regular updates on news and traffic etc.

Personal Injury Solicitors Birmingham Jessie J 1

Most people though follow their favourite celebrities to see what they are getting up to.  You can leave a comment to anyone you follow, including celebrities.  You may even get a reply from the less famous.

Friends follow each other.  Teenagers are more likely to ‘Tweet’ than those in their twenties or older.

Personal Injury Pal is also on Twitter.  Again we will write regular, interesting and informative articles.

To follow Personal Injury Pal on Twitter you will need to have a Twitter account.  Follow the link from our website and just ‘Follow’ us.  Feel free to add your comments on the discussion points.

I must say I did feel a bit foolish ‘Tweeting’ a celebrity to see how it worked, but this is the ‘norm’ now.

You Tube

Personal Injury Pal will post videos and hence also have a You Tube account.  Again you can access this from our website and you can leave comments.

To conclude

Personal Injury Solicitors Birmingham cat pigeons

…having arrived at New Street Station that morning someone put the cat amongst the pigeons by closing the two old exits. I just followed the crowd, but it was quite amusing.  Don’t worry it is much better now, new, brighter and fresher, and there are two new exits.  Personal Injury Pal are only minutes away from New Street Station so if you do instruct us as your Personal Injury Solicitors in Birmingham in your accident claim, our offices are easy to access.