Working in Birmingham as a trainee solicitor at Shoosmiths

Chelsea Collins is a first year trainee solicitor in Shoosmiths’ Birmingham office. Here she shares an insight into working in Birmingham and what the office can offer a junior lawyer.

Since Covid-19 the dynamic of how people work has changed dramatically. In my opinion, the Birmingham office truly embodies a practical and desirable working environment for all employees. Offering an opportunity to work flexibly, the office provides a stylish fit out that adds a luxurious feel to your everyday working environment. 

In the Birmingham office, you can visibly see the care that Shoosmiths awards its employees. The office includes a wellbeing room, a multi-faith contemplation pod and washing facilities, a platform lift providing disabled access and a dressing room. Added extras (and a firm favourite of visitors from other offices) include, pick and mix sweets, and a lavish coffee machine which would make your usual coffee shop jealous. 

Birmingham is a thriving city with an array of events and networking opportunities running throughout the year – the Christmas German market is a personal highlight of the year. The buzz surrounding the Birmingham office is renowned, from being one of the most energy-efficient commercial office buildings in both Birmingham and the UK to the highly regarded interior design fit out. The best part is, I truly feel proud walking into the Birmingham office each morning. 

Our office

In 2023, the Birmingham office relocated to its current home, 103 Colmore Row – the tallest office building in Birmingham. The entire office is surrounded by large floor to ceiling windows offering an incredible view of Birmingham. With an open plan layout, you can expect to ‘hot desk’ and sit next to an array of individuals at different levels within the business – offering you the best learning environment. This allows employees to work flexibly with great exposure to other departments allowing you to build connections within the firm as a whole. Our office is led by Alex Bishop and Beth McArdle who are both exceptional at bringing the whole office together and celebrating our success stories whilst raising the profile for the Birmingham office. With regular office meetings, the people in Shoosmiths are at the forefront of the making the office a success and a comfortable place to work in. The office provides a fresh, dynamic, and inspiring learning environment with all three of our floors awarded the same level of thought and care. The Birmingham office has been admired far and wide and can often be found snapped on your newsfeed on LinkedIn. 

Our people 

Supporting a team of approximately 300 people, and although one of Shoosmiths larger offices, the Birmingham office still feels like a mini family. As a trainee, you are welcomed not only by your immediate team, but by all employees. The open plan layout allows you to meet everyone, whether at the coffee station or over lunch. The colleagues in the Birmingham office are passionate and support one another, with multiple offerings including our Balance, Embrace, Proud, Unique and Mental Health and Wellbeing networks.  Collaboration is a key factor of office life, and our departments work side by side, offering advice and support where its needed. One thing is for certain, you will be warmly welcomed from day one. 

The location

The office has truly encompassed Birmingham’s strong industrial history within the offices design. Birmingham is an exciting and vibrant city offering endless opportunities to thrive as a junior lawyer. With plenty of opportunities to network, The Birmingham Trainee Solicitors Society (BTSS) made up of over 400 individuals and regularly hosts balls and events to meet other Trainees and juniors within the legal industry. Birmingham has the benefit of a city location with great amenities, restaurants and out of work activities to get involved with yet it remains a close community feel. 

Facts & figures for Birmingham (correct as of March 2024)

Address: 103 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 3AG 

Head of Office: Alex Bishop & Beth McArdle 

Total number of staff: 270

Number of partners: 40

Number of trainees

  • 7 x 2nd year trainees
  • 6 x 1st year trainees

Trainee salary: Year 1 - £32,000, Year 2 - £34,000

NQ Salary: £60,000

Universities

  • Aston University
  • Birmingham City University  
  • University of Birmingham 
  • Newman University 
  • University College Birmingham 

Likely trainee seats: Real Estate, Construction, Property Litigation, Corporate, Banking, Restructuring & Advisory, Commercial, Dispute Resolution & Litigation, Employment and IP

Local junior lawyer & business networking groups

  • Birmingham Trainee Solicitors Society 
  • Birmingham Young Professionals 
  • Birmingham Law Society
  • Birmingham Black Lawyers 

Find out more local knowledge: 

@visit_birmingham – The go to guide for anyone visiting Birmingham and the West Midlands 
@ichoosebirmingham – Showcases the best things to do in Birmingham 
@birmingham__foodreview – Shares honest food reviews of spots in Birmingham

A few facts about Birmingham 

  • Birmingham Library is the largest library in England. 
  • The Jewellery Quarter, located in Birmingham, produces 40% of all the UK’s jewellery. 
  • Birmingham Hippodrome is the busiest theatre in the UK, with over 520,000 visitors each year.

Apply to work in Birmingham

Apply for an opportunity in Shoosmiths’ Birmingham office here.

 

Apply for a business support or legal adviser role in Birmingham here.

Disclaimer

This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.

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