Q&A with LLB graduate Elliott Denton

“I was a mature student who started studying law at 27” Elliott talks about securing his training contract with a top law firm

What have you been doing since you left Kent?

I worked as an arbitrators’ administrator whilst studying the Legal Practice Course part-time in the evenings. I then had a short stint as a complex injury paralegal before obtaining a training contract last September to start the same year.

Tell us about the training contract you have secured

I secured a training contract at Cripps. They are a firm based in Tunbridge Wells with an office in London. Cripps is a leading firm in the South East and a top 100 UK law firm. I’m currently in my second seat in the Commercial Real Estate team. The work is varied and extremely interesting. The hours are reasonable, and the people are great to work with and learn from.

Can you tell us how you found out about the training contract and the application process?

Cripps came to do a talk at the University of Kent; they are the biggest firm in Kent and therefore have strong regional links to the university. This meant I was aware of the firm and their profile, and it made them an obvious choice when making applications.

The process was by way of written application form and more attractive than what appeared to be a systemic computerised application process designed to sift people out of existence.

My application was read, and I undertook a psychometric test, a two-stage interview, and a case study. I was offered a training contract to start the same year and haven’t looked back since.

Can you explain how your time at KLS contributed to your recent successes?

My time at the Kent Law Clinic was invaluable as I had contact with real clients and the opportunity to work on actual cases. A law degree is very theoretical so any practical legal experience should be snapped up!

I also enjoyed my time mooting which taught me a lot about myself and helped highlight my strengths and weaknesses.

Do you have any advice for anyone considering studying law or applying for training contracts?

My advice for anyone applying for training contracts is to start looking as early as possible and in first year if possible. Even though you may be precluded from applying as a first-year student it is still wise to prepare yourself for quite a time-consuming and gruelling process. Giving yourself more time to prepare will reap dividends in the long run.

If you’re looking in second or third year that is absolutely fine too but be aware that in a competitive market the early bird catches the worm!

Anything else?

I was a mature student who started studying law at 27. It is important that other mature students don’t lose hope in achieving their dreams. The average age of qualification for a solicitor is circa 30 years old now and I’m not sure people know that. If you’re graduating at 21 and don’t have a training contract lined up honestly don’t panic (despite my advice above) and if you’re a mature student who is studying later in life you still have time. Go at your own pace and as long as you display an intellectual curiosity and strong work ethic you will make it.

Last updated