Tom’s path to becoming a Solicitor…
I began volunteering with Citizens Advice in March 2016 as an Adviser. My main reason for volunteering was to gain more practical experience in an advice giving environment that shared similar values to me. This is due to my desire to pursue a career as a solicitor, hopefully in the social welfare sector. During a work placement at a leading social welfare Law firm in Birmingham, many of the solicitors highly recommended volunteering with Citizens Advice as they had done. They informed me that the experience they gained with Citizens Advice was critical in them entering a career as a social welfare solicitor. I also decided to volunteer with Citizens Advice as I feel the work they do is vital in the community and I wanted to be part of a dedicated team that is committed to helping anyone and everyone in the community with any problems they may have.
The training for the role as Adviser is extremely well planned and thought through. The combination of practical and theory based training equipped me with all the necessary tools to be able to successfully interview clients at the initial stage of advice. The practical based training involves observing a trained Adviser interview real clients and listening to the variety of problems clients require help with. This allowed me to fully understand the range of problems people in the community live with and the best ways in which to help them. The theory based training involves working on a variety of online training packs to understand the Law behind some of the most common problems clients require help with, which gave me confidence when it came to me beginning to interview clients on my own.
After a month in the role, I look forward to starting every week at Citizens Advice and working with clients in order to solve their problems. I regularly assist clients with problems that range from Benefits, Debt, Employment and Family and the differing problems clients face always keeps the role extremely interesting. In the future, I am hoping to begin the next level of training Citizens Advice offer and become a General Adviser. This will not only allow me to assist clients in more depth with the problems they face but will also help me personally in my future career development. I am extremely grateful for having the opportunity to work regularly for an organisation that is committed to helping anyone and everyone in the community.
If Tom’s story has inspired you to volunteer then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.