A Day in the Life of a Welfare Benefit Trainee Solicitor at Duncan Lewis.

I was offered a training contract by Duncan Lewis in August 2009 and I hit the ground running from my first day.

Applying for a Training Contract can be a daunting experience for a law student.

When I heard the news I was granted a training contract at Duncan Lewis solicitors I could not believe it.

The only reason I wanted to be a solicitor was to undertake legal aid work, to help those clients who are most in need.

What do you want out of your training contract? I’ll tell you what I wanted; experience.

I started working in Duncan Lewis in December 2008 as a paralegal.

I started work as a trainee with Duncan Lewis in June 2009 and I can honestly say I am loving it.

Duncan Lewis is a young and ambitious firm sporting some of the most highly rated solicitors in their fields is how I would describe Duncan Lewis.

I started my Training Contract with Duncan Lewis in April 2009 in Immigration Law.

The responsibility placed on a trainee at Duncan Lewis is incredible.

Duncan Lewis is unique in recruiting many of their trainees internally; from their extensive reserve of paralegals.

I was working in the Mental Health Department as a Paralegal at Duncan Lewis when I was given my Training Contract.

The life of a trainee at Duncan Lewis by Dounia Arstim

I started at Duncan Lewis as a childcare paralegal immediately after completing the LPC in October 2008.

Traineeship, hard work but rewarding, all trainee Solicitors in the current economical climate can appreciate, securing a job is hard, but securing a traineeship is even harder.

Duncan Lewis has six offices and is the largest legal aid law firm in the UK.

Drink drives campaign

Adoption Agencies (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013

Private firms operating prisons start implementing tough new rules which include drugs test and new GPS tags.

Migrants don’t come to live on benefits but are more entrepreneurial in nature says a research

Rights and liabilities of buyer and seller between exchange and completion of contract

Difference between Divorce and Legal Separation

European human right watchdog warns debate of migration taking a worrying turn in the UK

A CSJ report cites government apathy and lack of awareness among authorities as hurdles in tackling human trafficking

Whether a party's knowledge of an un-induced error can justify reduction of a contract

Disability benefit cuts not to effect seriously wounded war veterans says ministers

Loss in property market can be reasonably foreseeable says appeal judges

Consumers are put off by the complexities of complain process says a survey

Some changes in 2013 with regards to employment law

Mental health patients to be allowed choice of consultants they would want to see

Immigration solicitor UK:

In a welcome change article 8 of ECHR being applied more regularly on children of people facing deportation says expert

To discourage the desecration of memorials by thieves and robbers the coalition is coming up with a new law.

Two convicted rapists have their jail term doubled as the Appeals Court found their earlier sentences of 40 months too lenient in regard to the seriousness of their crime

Seventy more staff would be recruited after Olympics to cope with the academic rush expected in September

Report by Chief of Border controls say the standard of procedure followed at immigration checks is lot to be desired

A driver and his employer together sentenced to a total of 37 years in prison for smuggling drugs into UK in oil drums

Landlords who could cut middlemen and talk to tenant directly can only gain as tenants prefer landlords to agents a survey has said

A driver and his employer together sentenced to a total of 37 years in prison for smuggling drugs into UK in oil drums

More and more number of tenants are seeking proof that the homeowner has the permission to rent the property.

Article: Time Spent Under Association Agreements Will Count Towards the Acquisition of Permanent Residence

Article: The Court Of Appeal Considers Debt Relief Orders

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Training a new generation of Lawyers

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To raise awareness of the consequences of a conviction the latest campaign would see radio adverts, pub posters and an eye catching short online film drilling the message home that motorists face heavy costs if they drink and drive.




From the 1st of July 2013 the Adoption Agencies (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013 is coming into force which amends the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 which make provision relating to the exercise by adoption agencies (local authorities and registered adoption societies) of their functions in relation to adoption under the Adoption and Children Act 2002.




More than 50,000 short-sentence prisoners a year are to be given new 12-month compulsory supervision orders under rehabilitation plans run by private companies and charities to be announced by the justice secretary, Chris Grayling.
Ministry of Justice officials say the plans would be the most significant change to short custodial sentences in a decade. It would prevent former prisoners from moving to a different area and subject them to compulsory tests for class B drugs such as cannabis.




A widely held belief that neighbourhoods that have experienced mass immigration from Eastern Europe were more crime prone has been challenged by a research which says rather in the past 10 years acts like burglary; vandalism and car theft had fallen significantly.




Until such time when contracts are exchanged both buyer and seller are free to withdraw from the transaction without incurring any penalty without assigning any reason.
The buyer could have verbally agreed to buy or the seller agreeing to sell a property is not sufficient to create a binding contract. This is because land transactions are subject to special rules which don’t apply to transactions involving other types of property.




You can get a divorce if you have been married at least a year and your relationship has permanently broken down.
The marriage has to be legally recognised in the UK, and you must have a permanent home in England or Wales.




The Europe’s Human Rights watchdog has warned that the debate in Britain over UK immigration has taken a worrying turn and was fuelling stereotypes and hostility towards migrants.
Nils Muiznieks, commissioner for the Council of Europe’s human rights has said that it was simply unacceptable to treat Bulgarians and Romanian citizens like a scourge and says that it was time for blowing whistle against such shameful rhetoric.




In a most comprehensive inquiry conducted by the Centre of Social Justice (CSJ) published on Monday about human trafficking the report stated that political indifference and ignorance alongside a leadership vacuum in Whitehall had meant that the country which had led the fight against slavery in the 19th century was now was a “shameful shadow” of its former self as the evil practice had made a comeback in a contemporary form.




The effect of error on the validity of a contract has been one of the most uncertain areas in our private law resulting in a tension between two fundamental principles. Firstly, a contract is constituted by the agreement of the parties to it. It is based on mutual consent. Secondly, however, one party is entitled to hold the other to what he has said, even if he did not mean it.




War veterans who have been seriously wounded are being exempted from disability benefit cuts and would be given their own special allowance government has announced.
The government said that they would be guaranteed benefits worth £7,000 a year for life.




The appeal judges have ruled that fall in property prices at the start of recession was “reasonably foreseeable”.

In a ruling they said that a farmer could claim damages up to £400,000 for the loss in value of land he was preparing for a housing development from consulting engineers who delayed the project.




The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has attacked the complexity of the legal complaints process. It had commissioned a report from consultants where it was found that a third of dissatisfied clients were of the opinion that they did not complain because they were unable to understand the process.




With a new year ushering in new rules and legislations are expected to follow and there are some new legislations for employers to negotiate. It could be related to employment tribunals, employee-shareholder contracts, family friendly rights, payroll or criminal record checks, 2013 too comes with its own share of legislation relevant to organisations both large and small.




Under new rights to the patients with mental health problems patients would be allowed to choose psychiatrist consultants to end institutional bias against them in the NHS.
This would put them on par with the patients with physical health problems.




With so many lawyers to choose from zeroing in to the right lawyer or solicitor is always a tough ask especially when migrating is such an important decision one has to make with so many uncertainties chasing your thought process.




In cases involving children of people facing deportation there has been a sea change according to an immigration solicitor.

The courts approach to the children of persons facing deportation, extradition or criminal sentencing in as far as application of Article 8 was concerned has seen a sea change and he said it was a welcome sign.




The conservative backbencher Richard Ottaway had won Government support for a plan which would make it more difficult for dealers to buy scrap metal discouraging such thefts from churches, war memorials, railways and other sources. Thefts for scrap from these sources have seen soaring to record levels in the current year.




Roshane Channer and Ruben Monteiro had admitted raping an 11 year schoolgirl in a block of flats in Luton and were sentenced to three years and four months by the Luton Crown Court.
But the prosecution had filed for review claiming the sentence was a very lenient one. Subsequently the sentences were changed to seven years by three Court of Appeal Judges who agreed with the Attorney General they were too lenient.




The Immigration minister has announced that soon after the Olympics seventy extra border staff would be taken from within the Whitehall to check any fresh passport crisis at British airports in September.
All summer leaves of the UK Border Force have been withdrawn by the Home Office and extra temporary staff is being brought in from other parts of Whitehall to deal with the deluge of 650,000 extra tourists expected this summer.




Overcautious custom officials seem to be bitten by the racial bug as they are routinely stopping and searching white air passengers only as a balancing act of racial mix.
A report has revealed that to avoid race discrimination complaints the staff were searching for illegal goods at Gatwick Airport by selecting white passengers.




A haulage firm boss Dean Castle and employee Carl Haynes were jailed for 20 and 17 years respectively for smuggling more than £5million worth of drugs into the UK in oil drums.
They were caught af




According to a new research from leading lettings agency UPAD, tenants prefer landlords to agents when it comes to viewing properties.
UPAD surveyed 382 tenants from across the UK and found that




A haulage firm boss Dean Castle and employee Carl Haynes were jailed for 20 and 17 years respectively for smuggling more than £5million worth of drugs into the UK in oil drums.
They were caught af




A problem which would affect the amateur landlords for example those who choose to let their property till they could find a buyer, many of the homeowner’s don not take the lenders permission to let a




T brought a successful appeal in the case of a Romanian national who sought to include time spent in the UK pre-accession




As flagged in our earlier article 'Having your cake and eating it' The Secretary of State appealed against a decision ((2010) EWHC 2162 (Admin)) that he had unlawfully deducted sums from the social security benefits of the respondents (C and P). That appeal has now been decided.




D i, please leave your feedback here of your experience at the firm.




I. . Do also mention the department and name of the solicitor(s) who advised and assisted you will be helpful. Any suggestions for improvement of our service will also be helpful. Thank you for your time.




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