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Graduate Scheme Feedback

We asked some of our Trainee Solicitors and Litigation Assistants who have completed our graduate scheme to give us some feedback about it. During their time in the graduate scheme, our aspiring trainee solicitors learned foundational black letter law, which will underpin their skills as well as provide a suite of case management and soft skills. If you’re interested in starting your legal career at Express, send your CV to

Grace Rainey

Trainee Solicitor

During the graduate scheme, a sense of strong legal knowledge and considered judgement is encouraged through a blend of structured learning and hands on experience on live cases. Such exposure to legal issues encouraged me to gain a stronger analytical understanding of case progression in a learning environment where I felt comfortable to ask questions and was able to comprehend the stages of a personal injury claim. Furthermore, time is devoted to black letter law to ensure you have the knowledge around personal injury to appropriately advise clients and understand legal issues. As a result, when I joined my department, I was able to work on cases which were at various stages with the prior understanding of the next steps fostered from the graduate scheme.

The training and development of core skills extends further than technical and legal knowledge. Emphasis is placed on soft skills such as client communication and the importance of emotional intelligence. This training is vital when faced with difficult conversations with clients, who have often experienced life-changing injuries. Such training has allowed me to confidently work on catastrophic cases and act for severely injured clients due to the development of my interpersonal skills. Subsequently I have built strong relationships with clients for the good of their case, and for the firm.

I was exposed to a varied workload on live cases extremely early on, while supported by the learning environment of the academy and training staff. The hands-on experience that the graduate scheme provided allowed me to experience ‘real life’ tasks and emulated the expectations of working in a department. Being supported by the training staff within the academy allowed me to ask questions freely and understand what would be expected when carrying out a task alongside considering timescales, strategy and purpose surrounding each task. As a result, such an environment stimulated the strategic consideration of cases while handling multiple tasks and deadlines while working in department. Subsequently, I have been able to confidently work on high value catastrophic cases, often with their own multifaceted issues with a strong sense of legal knowledge and strategic consideration instilled from the academy.

Emphasis is placed on the development of technical skills and good litigation practice, such as drafting and complying with legal procedures. The graduate scheme provided an environment where I was able to draft work and receive direct and tailored feedback on a 1-1 basis. This enabled me to appreciate areas of strength in my work, but also areas of weakness on which I could improve. I was able to successfully work on a variety of complex legal issues, including issuing and serving multiple cases within the High Court and drafting and preparing documentation for a variety of applications.

Lloyd Teka

Litigation Assistant

I was part of the Express Solicitors graduate scheme from September 2023 until the end of October before being allocated to the Employers’ Liability department. In the graduate scheme the specific skills I learnt were client care, drafting skills and how to use the firm’s case management system among other things.

In the graduate scheme Julie gave several workshops on client care specifically on how to engage with the clients in order to get as much information as possible when taking a statement in regards to an accident. Julie very helpfully advised that it is always best to start with broad questions and then ask specific questions. The advice was not only helpful on the graduate scheme, but it was also helpful once I was in department as I needed to take statements from clients very early on. Asking clients broad questions at the beginning of calls assisted me in getting more relevant information with regards to accidents from the clients very quickly.

In the graduate scheme I had the opportunity to draft witness statements and pre-action applications. Karl was responsible for the supervision of the witness statements and pre-action disclosure applications. Karl’s supervision was very helpful as he gave detailed feedback on how the drafting of a witness statement can be improved, and where further information from the client was needed. Karl’s input made it easier to draft witness statements after the scheme as I already knew the amount of detail required within them. In the graduate scheme we were provided with pre-action disclosure application examples, which I use to this day. The pre-action disclosure application examples made it easier and quicker to draft pre-action disclosure applications within department.

The firm uses Proclaim to manage their cases. In the graduate scheme Yasmeen gave workshop sessions on how to use Proclaim, such as how to make call notes, how to add a task, how to send emails and draft letters. The sessions provided by Yasmeen were very helpful after being placed in my department as it meant that I was already familiar with how to use the firm’s case management system and did not have to spend time learning how to use.

After the graduate scheme I have managed my learning with the help of the firm’s LMS and my colleagues in the Employers’ Liability department. The firm’s LMS is my go-to place for learning as there are modules on virtually every task done in department. I have had help from colleagues at the firm for court applications such as coming off the record, enforcement order and application asking for a remote hearing.

Sabrina Daramola

Litigation Assistant

I found the training scheme to be particularly useful for gaining a lot of new skills in a short amount of time. Specifically, I believe that my attention to detail, awareness and research skills have greatly improved as a result of my training.

This became most prevalent after getting into department; whenever I was stuck or did not know how to complete a task such as drafting and sending witness statements, I realised that our Learning Management System (LMS) had a training video or presentation for every issue. I was easily able to navigate through the system and use it to create a statement template without needing to ask for outside help.

This has been a fantastic for me as I am a visual learner and can be forgetful at times, so being able to go back to these training workshops and navigate through them with such ease has been really beneficial. It’s allowed me to not bother my surrounding co-workers so much when I do not know how to do something.

Kate Hall

Litigation Assistant

The graduate scheme at Express Solicitors gave a great overview of the needed black letter law to support us when moving into our departments, as well as teaching practical skills, like how to use the case handling software Proclaim. The intense training gave us comfort and confidence before working on live files.

Working on an artificial training file allowed us coming into the sector at entry level to receive a lifelike example of the work we would be completing in our roles alongside learning the skills of witness statement taking, drafting documents and requesting medical evidence.

The mixture of a refresher on the legal knowledge learnt in our previous studies, with training on the tasks we would be needing to complete along and with a lifelike example of one of the files and how the information needs to be recorded, processed and provided, allowed us to handle clients more effectively in the initial stages and provided a lot more confidence in navigating cases and offering the best service we can to clients.

Imogen Lamkin

Litigation Assistant

My time on the graduate scheme equipped me with all the necessary skills to progress and become part of a thriving firm. The scheme allowed me to be fully prepared and ready to ‘hit the ground running’ once I came into my department. I feel confident in my work, ability and future progression. I started the SQE only a year after starting at Express!

I apply the skills that I was provided every day I walk through the door, and even when I leave for the day. I believe you can still continue to learn even when you aren’t in a training environment, which is why I still keep on top of my training and keep my skill set growing by using the LMS for any questions, any areas I want to explore more and for general curiosity about my work! My WIP billing figure is 154%.

Chris Tottey

Litigation Assistant

During the scheme I learnt about the legal foundations of PI law and the civil procedure rules that govern the whole process. It went beyond what we had learnt in university as we were taught by David Small who has a wealth of practical experience and knowledge. It was also reinforced that we actually work within a service industry and client care is paramount. We were provided with coaching and feedback on soft skills such as telephone manner and how to converse with clients effectively. We were also provided specific skills in how to navigate and use Proclaim in order to complete our role.

The graduate scheme provides a key foundation to welcoming you into Express Solicitors and the start of your legal career.

It provides a safe learning environment to prepare you for working within a department. The scheme also provides the opportunity to learn about the pathways to qualify and the route to progress within the firm. Having completed the course I felt driven to progress and I have had conversations with my supervisor about the next steps I should take.

The soft skills training has been used every day. After each telephone call with clients or third parties, I take a critical approach to seeing how I could prepare better or improve the quality of the call for next time. I have used the PI calculator to generate many schedules of loss, I have even used my knowledge gained in the scheme to support co-workers in department who are unfamiliar with the programme. I think the biggest learning curve has been how to put the soft skills into practice. Learning how to manage clients’ expectations and deal with queries and more difficult phone calls. Putting the theory into practice as every person is an individual. Making sure that clients understand the process and what is happening on their file as they are not legal experts.

I am the first person from my graduate cohort to be put onto the Express policies and procedures training course. I gained a password from IT and used the rapid portal to submit a claim; I asked a colleague to shadow me and give feedback the first time I did this. I also learnt how to use the land registry website in order to do defendant research for a file where the owner of a piece of land was unknown.

Muzamil Abubakar

Litigation Assistant

I have become proficient in using Proclaim, a system which is a fundamental part of all communications within the firm. I had never used a legal database so advanced, so this was something completely foreign to me.

The graduate scheme training taught me how to utilise the system to its full capabilities and has been key in my personal development in not just the legal aspect but also in terms of my competency and cybersecurity awareness and complying with important regulations such as GDPR.I have also honed my skills in drafting important court documents, liaising with and advising clients. The soft skills workshops, with Julia, was very thorough and taught me very essential soft skills such as phone etiquette and situational judgement when speaking with clients.

This helped prepare me for speaking with clients and taught me how to adapt and cater to the individual demands of each client. Using the LMS has taught me how to draft a litigation friend statement of deduction, conduct an ASKmid search as well as how to instruct medical agencies to arrange medical consultations for clients.

Meghan Lennon

Litigation Assistant

To say that the graduate scheme equipped me with the skills needed to succeed at Express Solicitors is an understatement.

The training was intense, almost a crash course on how to do things the Express way. This then meant that by the time I reached working in department, I knew how to draft well enough to have applications granted on paper. I knew how to handle difficult situations with clients and defendants, and I knew how to manage my time effectively, having never billed under 125% of my target from the get-go. The progression I have made has been extremely quick and I credit the graduate scheme for setting me up with the practical skill set and the personal growth skill set that is instilled from day one of the scheme.