I applied to Howells on the recommendation of a friend with whom I volunteered with in a local advice centre in Sheffield. He had been working for the firm for about 6 months and was thoroughly enjoying the work. My employment with the firm started in July 2008.
When I started at Howells, I had a basic knowledge of benefits and debt law, from my work at the advice centre. The firm arranged for full training for me when I started in the role.
In 2010 I moved to the Barnsley office as the benefits and debt adviser. The firm provided me with the training on a new form of debt relief, and I became a Debt Relief Order Intermediary. I passed the assessment in 2011.
I successfully applied for a training contract with the firm in 2011 and this commenced in 2013. My first seat was in the criminal defence team. I thoroughly enjoyed the work and by Christmas 2013 I had decided that I would like to qualify as a criminal solicitor. I therefore started to work towards becoming a Police Station representative and passed the portfolio and test in June 2014.
Howells offered me the opportunity to complete my higher rights of audience (criminal proceedings) rather than completing electives on the PSC. I completed the course and exams in February 2014 and found out that I had passed a few weeks later.
I qualified as a solicitor in 2014 and joined the criminal department at the Barnsley office. I passed the assessments to become a duty solicitor in 2016 and since that time have been representing clients at the police station and in the Magistrates’ Court.
I have now been working at Howells for almost 10 years. I have worked in different departments in that time and felt well supported and encouraged throughout my whole employment here.