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Graduate internship funding from Northumbria helps regional law firms expand


Jun 9, 2017

Two recently launched North East law firms have turned to a graduate internship scheme provided by Northumbria University, Newcastle, to help drive their growth plans.

Newcastle-based law firm Particular Legal, and Corbridge property law advisors Toomey Legal in the Tyne Valley, were both set up in the past few years. As they seek to build on early success with further expansion, they have received funding and assistance from the Northumbria Enterprise Business Support (NEBS) to recruit new employees.  The six-month graduate Internships through NEBS are funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and are available to small and medium sized businesses in Northumberland or Tyne and Wear.

Sue Shaw-Toomey, who founded Toomey Legal in 2015, has just appointed Northumbria Law School graduate Jennifer Wilkes as the firm’s first employee.  Jennifer, who graduated in 2017, will be studying for her conveyancing qualifications during her six-month internship with the expectation of completing the exams over the next year.

Sue said, “Employing my first member of staff is really exciting but also slightly daunting.  However, the graduate internship funding provided by Northumbria is beneficial for a small employer like me.  Jennifer is a confident and very capable new graduate and I am delighted to have her working with me.  She is aware that in addition to her law knowledge she will be helping, and leading, on various other activities such as marketing.  This is one of the benefits of employing graduates – they have a great set of skills and approach to work.  I would recommend the graduate internship to any law-related firm seeking a law graduate or indeed a graduate in subjects such as marketing, finance and business”.

Matthew Rippon, owner and Director of Particular Legal, has appointed Amy Gatenby to start later in the year.  Amy graduated in law from Northumbria in 2017 and has already completed a year-long student placement with Particular Legal.

Matthew explained, “During her placement with us I saw Amy’s talent for law and how she fitted in effortlessly with colleagues. I wanted to know how I could appoint her following completion of her Master in Law (Exempting) degree. Without funding from the graduate internship scheme, I may only have been able to offer a paralegal opportunity rather than a trainee solicitor position.  As a business, we have strong links with Northumbria, including encouraging students to undertake their placements with us.  Recruiting our former placement student was a natural progression and obvious choice for us.”

Victor Ottaway, Graduate Internship Manager said, “Particular Legal and Toomey Legal are two excellent examples of companies seeking to employ law graduates.  Having spent a little time getting to know both Jennifer and Amy I’m very impressed with both graduates and I know Sue and Matthew are looking to both support the long-term success of each business after the initial six month internship.”

For more information about graduate internship funding, please contact Victor Ottaway, Graduate Internship Manager. Email:victor.ottaway@northumbria.ac.uk or tel: 0191 227 4044.

By Emily