Published: 17 June 2016

Placement year gives career headstart

Professional Training is an integral part of life at Surrey and many of you will have great memories of your time on placement.

Our programme is particularly well regarded as students from any discipline can take advantage of the scheme and our Law programmes all offer optional Professional Training placements with the opportunity to experience a variety of contexts, including solicitors’ offices, local authority legal departments, nongovernmental organisations and corporations.

If your company or business would like to play a part in equipping our Law undergraduates with skills to help them when they graduates please contact Claire Lillywhite at

Below Kieran Mitchell, who will be graduating with an LLB (Hons) Law this year, explains why his placement was so valuable.

“I believe that by completing my Professional Training placement I have grown into a person ready for graduate life and well-prepared to begin my legal career.

“I had wanted to study law from a young age and have always been determined to one day become a solicitor. By choosing the LLB Law programme at Surrey I was able to complete core modules that qualified me to progress to my professional exams as well as undertake a Professional Training placement. Studying law is incredibly challenging, but it is a subject that has so much relevance in our day-to-day lives, whether that be understanding the legal aspects of current affairs or knowing the rights and obligations of your landlord.

“Of the number of reasons I chose to come to Surrey, it was primarily due to the incredibly friendly nature of the people all around campus and the opportunity to undertake a Professional Training placement. Entering the legal profession is hugely competitive and I saw my placement as an opportunity to greatly increase my experience and differentiate myself from other graduates.

“I spent my placement in the corporate law department of Penningtons Manches LLP, a large, full-practice law firm. My work was centred around mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructuring and corporate governance. I assisted partners and associates on a number of transactions by offering administrative help, drafting legal documents and corresponding with clients.

“Some of my highlights were assisting on the completion of a multi-million pound takeover, meeting with directors of a company who were developing a new space shuttle and finally being offered both an extension on my placement due to my performance and my training contract with the firm’s London office in 2017.

“The Professional Training placement is a fantastic opportunity and if you get the right placement it can offer you an outstanding experience to differentiate yourself from other graduates in the future. I learnt a huge amount on my placement which has benefitted me in my final year and will continue to do so throughout my career.

“I also completed a semester studying abroad at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. It gave me the chance to study modules that were not available anywhere in the UK, such as mining and petroleum law. It also gave me an opportunity to develop my knowledge of jurisdictional differences and the international elements of legal practice at a world-leading school of law.

“I think I have changed massively since starting at Surrey. I have experienced so many things and enjoyed so much of it. I believe that by completing my Professional Training placement I have grown into a person ready for graduate life and well-prepared to begin my legal career.”

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