From paralegal to trainee solicitor

Helen Gierc has had a swift career trajectory. Since studying law at the University of Sheffield, she got a job as a paralegal and has since been made a trainee solicitor. Here she tells us a bit about what her job consists of.

I joined Pannone as a paralegal in the Serious Injury division in August 2008. Initially I assisted a partner exclusively, gathering an awareness of all types of personal injury claims. The majority of the cases are of maximum severity, such as brain injuries, spinal injuries and fatal accident compensation claims.

My role involves drafting witness statements, letters of instructions to Counsel/experts, high value Schedules of Loss, court documents and much more. I have been trusted to advocate at Case Management Conferences and application hearings; to attend conferences with clients, experts and counsel; and to run files for fee earners who are on leave.

I have also been given the opportunity to get involved in business development activities such as representing the firm at brain injury and spinal injury conferences and exhibitions. This is a great way to meet other experts and professionals involved in serious injury cases.

As a paralegal I have been entrusted with working on a significant case load at an early stage, which provided me with a realistic insight into the life of a trainee solicitor. I have benefitted from hands on experience as I have been involved in cases at every stage of the litigation process and have seen my skills develop. Working within the group has been a fantastic learning experience for me and strengthened my desire to be a solicitor and obtain a training contract at Pannone.  

My colleagues are friendly and there is an extremely positive working environment. As executives are sat in an open plan environment it facilitates legal discussion and debate. Pannone has an extremely active social committee and I have had lots of opportunities to meet people around the firm through the monthly drinks and events, playing netball and even a trip to Madrid!

In July 2011, I was interviewed for a training contract and I was over the moon when I found out that I had been successful! Since obtaining my training contract I have continued to be challenged in the Serious Injury division. I have been given a high level of responsibility and have continued to feel like a valued member of the team. I have also had the opportunity to assist the Head of Group, Richard Scorer, on a number of high profile abuse cases. 

Helen Gierc, Paralegal / Trainee Solicitor


Law, UK