I hadn’t considered personal injury before…

Louise McCulloch, Associate

Sadly, personal injury is not an area of law which a University student typically has all that much exposure to before thinking about summer placements and law traineeships.

As a result, I hadn’t considered specialising in personal injury law until I was lucky enough to secure a work experience placement at Digby Brown.

During my work experience placement I was based within our Serious Injury team. The vast majority of the cases I helped with involved people who had suffered brain and spinal injuries.

After this, I knew that I wanted to help people who had unexpectedly found themselves in extremely difficult situations, through no fault of their own, but due to negligence of others.

This placement ultimately shaped my career and led me to where I am now.

From trainee to Associate

I am now an Associate in our Glasgow office.

But I formally began my career with Digby Brown in our Legal Enquiries Team. The Legal Enquiry Team is responsible for handling initial enquiries made by the injured person or their family. This was a great opportunity to learn the basic information needed to assess the prospects of a case and whether we could assist.

From here I moved to our Network department for my traineeship. Our Network department deals with a wide variety of work including work referred to us by other firms. Within these departments, I was able to work on a broad range of cases, including:

Responsible for my own cases, from beginning to end

Having my own case holding during my traineeship ensured that I was exposed to every stage of the case from beginning until end. I was able to learn to prioritise my case holding and juggle a number of tasks at any one time.

Throughout my traineeship, I was required to:

  • take precognitions from client and any witnesses 
  • calculate any losses the client had suffered; 
  • assess the risks of any case
  • gather medical evidence 
  • evaluate heads of claim
  • assess the case value.

As well as being responsible for my own workload, I was able to assist more senior colleagues in complex cases including those tragically involving individuals who had been fatally injured. I was provided with the opportunity to be involved in litigation; attend Court hearings and consultations with Counsel.

As a trainee with Digby Brown, you are given experience in every aspect of a personal injury case. My traineeship taught me that client care is paramount and that it is vital that the client knows that we are doing all we can to achieve the best result for them. It is very important to be empathetic and a willing listener to ensure that each client knows that you hear their concerns and that you will assist in any way you can. Whilst at University, there was no opportunity to practice speaking with and helping clients who had suffered personal injury. Digby Brown really taught me all that I know in that regard.

Compared to other traineeships, you are provided with as much support as you require. You are given the opportunity to develop all of the skills needed to become the best you can be. The work that we do is exceptionally interesting and above all, rewarding. There is no feeling like securing an outstanding settlement for your client.

Work life balance is very important to Digby Brown

We are encouraged to work both in the office and at home. Within personal injury, you generally do not need to work as exhaustive hours compared to perhaps, corporate solicitors. You are welcomed into a very friendly and positive working environment.

I would strongly recommend a Digby Brown traineeship to anyone who wishes to push themselves out with their own comfort zone with the aim of helping people.

Applications for the 2024 Graduate Traineeship close on 5th August 2022.

Louise McCulloch, Associate

Network Department