Trainee solicitor Hayley Burns takes part in a Q&A telling us about her PRIME experience as a high school student and how it helped shape her legal career today as a trainee solicitor at Brodies.

Tell us a bit about yourself

    My name is Hayley and I participated in the PRIME initiative with Brodies as a high school student back in 2014. Since then, I have gone on to study law and complete the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at the University of Glasgow.

    Following graduation, I completed a virtual summer placement with Brodies' employment team. I am now currently a trainee solicitor at Brodies and due to qualify as a newly qualified solicitor in the infrastructure projects team in August. 

    How did PRIME help to kick start your legal career?

      PRIME provided me with my first legal work experience opportunity, allowing me to appreciate all that a legal career involves and re-affirming my desire to enter the profession.

      What are the benefits of taking part in PRIME?

        For me, the main benefits were (1) the experience and insights into the legal profession that I was able to take away from my involvement in PRIME and (2) the recognition that a legal career was achievable. The legal profession can often feel elusive to those (such as myself) having no personal connections to the industry and so a legal career can mistakenly be perceived as being out of reach.

        Certainly, coming from a state school educational background, my experience of PRIME was extremely positive and inclusive. The fact that a large, renowned firm such as Brodies had a focus on providing high-quality work experience to participants of the PRIME scheme meant that my perceptions of the entry barriers to the profession were shifted. As a result of my PRIME experience, I was confident that a legal career was achievable with hard work, commitment and motivation.

        Quite a number of years later, I now have the pleasure of mentoring a student who is currently completing the PRIME programme. This opportunity has allowed me to share with them all the valuable insights and experiences which PRIME provided me with and, in so doing, assist them with navigating their legal career.

        Describe your experience in three words.

          Insightful, valuable and inclusive.

          What piece of advice would you give to someone thinking about a career in law?

            In terms of entering the profession, I would say that the career opportunities that will ultimately benefit you in years to come will arise from the professional connections you make – even at an early stage. Had it not been for my PRIME experience in 2014 - and the resulting relationships I developed at Brodies - I very much doubt that I would be in the position I am now.

            From personal experience, when it comes to discovering your interests in the legal sector, don't close yourself off to new experiences (especially at an early stage). Take advantage of all the opportunities you can. You never know – a practice area might take you by surprise!

            Applications to take part in the PRIME initiative in our Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen offices are now open and close Monday 01 May at midday. Apply today! 

            Find out more about PRIME here.


            Hayley Burns

            Trainee Solicitor