From Immingham School to rising legal star – James’ successful law career did not involve a fulltime University course.

18 March 2019

A spring season of careers presentations are being staged by the region’s leading law firm as it looks to attract talented young professionals into the sector.

Over the month of March, Wilkin Chapman solicitors, which has its headquarters in Grimsby, will be presenting and attending events across the region. The presentations coincide with National Careers Week, which runs from Monday, March 4.

The events come as one of the firm’s many ‘home grown’ lawyers, who did not enter the profession via the more traditional fulltime University route, celebrates an award for his recent legal studies.

James Kinnaird has been named as ‘best student’ on the ‘Commercial Litigation Elective’ for his recent Legal Practice Course, meaning he received the highest mark in that study area for both full and part-time students on the course at De Montfort University, Leicester.

The successful completion of this course means James is now a fully-qualified solicitor – marking the end of a decade of part-time study while working with Wilkin Chapman, moving up the career ladder each time a relevant course was passed.

And, while a seven-to-eight-year study period over a ten-year period may sound a long time, Immingham-born James said it was the right career path for him, and one that others should certainly consider as you are ‘earning while you learn’, not racking up large debts, and are also supported by the firm.

“I will not deny, it is hard work. For example, during my two-year Legal Practice Course I was travelling to Leicester one weekend a month, which is time consuming on top of the study and work. You do go home, and then open the books in the evening,” said James.

“But when you consider how the University route to qualify as a solicitor can cost as much as £80,000, young people should certainly look at all their available options,” he added.

James is a past-pupil of The Immingham School, now the Oasis Academy, and did not go to university after his A-levels. Instead he had spells working in house removals and at DFDS before joining Wilkin Chapman as a Trainee Legal Executive and embarking upon his legal journey.

“The route through University and onto obtaining a training contract can be so competitive and I really wanted to start working for a firm while studying. Now I have qualified with such a wealth of experience behind me,” added James, who specialises in commercial dispute resolution at the firm’s Grimsby office.


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