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Networking and work experience pave the way to a training contract for Law alumna

Ellie Mullins

I was given so much support and advice from the lecturers. I was given so many opportunities to enhance my skills and learn new things.

Ellie, Alumni, Undergraduate

Trainee Solicitor, Holmes & Hills LLP

Law LLB - 2021

From UK

Tell us about your educational and/or career journey since you graduated from Brunel?

I secured my training contract in March 2021 during the final year of my degree. I am currently a Trainee Solicitor at Holmes & Hills LLP, with my first six months in the Planning department. I loved Land Law during university, so it has been extremely interesting trying this in practice.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

I get in to work for about 8am. I first check my emails to see if there is anything urgent that needs to be done. As planning is quite a long process, many of my tasks include researching the law and writing letters. I have attended court 4-5 times since being here. Planning law can vary and is different every day - my day can range from having a long client meeting to researching case law all day - this is why I love planning law as every day is unique.

What’s been the highlight of your career journey so far?

The highlight of my career so far is definitely becoming a trainee in 2021. Two years of my degree were from home due to Covid. I set myself a task of ensuring I continue to network and make connections; the highlight was getting the phone call to tell me I had secured my training contract to start September 2021.

How would you say your Brunel experience has helped you to get where you are today?

Ever since I started at Brunel, I was given so much support and advice from the lecturers. I took part in pro-bono activities during my first year and was the Vice President for the Law School during my second year. I was given so many opportunities to enhance my skills and learn new things. Brunel put on many networking events for us to attend and workshops to learn advocacy. As a Student Ambassador, I was given the opportunity to talk to prospective students at Open Days on my journey. I felt privileged that Brunel gave me that platform to help students.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

I chose Brunel due to the support that students are given to achieve their career in law. I had already attended their Open Day and spoke to students studying there. They told me how much they loved it and that they had been given guidance on vacation schemes/training contracts. I knew I wanted to study somewhere that would support me in my journey. Although studying is a huge part of the degree, extra-curricular activities are just as important, and I would say this stood out for me the most.

What is your best memory of studying here?

My best memory of studying at Brunel has to be studying land law during my second year. This is when I realised that I had a real passion for land law and wanted to try it in practice. I really enjoyed learning about adverse possession and easements. I particularly enjoyed learning about the impacts land law has on individuals. The lecturer, Adrienne Barnett, was amazing and it definitely helped having a passionate lecturer teach us.

If you could give one piece of advice to current Brunel students, what would that be?

Take part in absolutely everything and start networking from day one. During my first year, I attended a minimum of two networking events a month. I also set myself a goal of ensuring I had a minimum of two work experience placements sorted for the following summer. Networking and taking part in work experience has definitely helped me get to where I am today. Become a Student Ambassador if you can - you will make friends and it will help you build your confidence! Don’t forget to have fun. Although my first and second year on campus was pretty hands on, I would also suggest making the most out of university with your friends!

What would be your top tip or key advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey after leaving Brunel?

Believe in yourself. For a long time, I lacked the confidence and did not believe in myself. This started to impact my ability to network and reach out. Instead, reach out and make connections, put yourself forward for everything and do not doubt yourself! Push yourself out of your comfort zone and you will see a huge difference! I am a mentor and a professional ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors and my profile can be found on the website. If anyone wants a coffee / chat, please feel free to reach out and message me on LinkedIn.