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Collyer Bristow gives support staff the opportunity to shine
In today’s climate it is widely acknowledged that the average graduate is expected to do unpaid work in the basement of a canning factory for six months before being considered for any sort of full-time, paid job, but every now and then you hear a success story that warms you like a mug of Horlicks.
Step up Collyer Bristow, which, over the years, has seen its support staff beat the competition to that elusive training contract through sheer hard graft.
Former court runner Peter Pratt, now a 45-year-old senior associate at the firm, is one example. Having joined Collyer Bristow with minimal O-levels at the age of 19 Pratt gained an A-level in law, a legal executive qualification, a GDL and an LPC in the years that followed, becoming a qualified solicitor in 2010.
Former legal secretary Mandeep Mattu, meanwhile, landed herself a trainee contract in September 2012 and is currently hard at work, training in the firm’s litigation department.
Such stories are inspiring in a tough profession and an even tougher jobs market. However, the cynics out there might be rolling their eyes and asking - isn’t it cheaper to recruit internally?
Of course, they have a point, in which case we’ll pull that niceness gong from Collyer Bristow’s grasp. But whatever widens the net when it comes to the white, middle-class legal profession can only be a good thing, provided the selection process remains fair.