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Placements 2022/23

The School of Law offers students the option of undertaking a 4-year degree which includes a placement at the end of the students’ 2nd year and before their final year. During this year, students spend 9 – 12months in industry.

Over the past three years, the School has developed partnerships with various organisations who provide placements open exclusively to students from the School. Students also actively source their own placement in the course of their second year of studies.

Last year, a number of our students went on placement and below are some of their experiences.


Liberty Global is an international telecommunications company with operations in 12 countries. The company's primary focus is the provision of media services such as television, internet, and telephone to customers through the acquisition of Virgin Media O2. The company is strongly focused on the shared values of equality, diversity, and inclusion, which is reflected in the culture of the company at all levels. The company’s core values are promoted in each area of the business and all employees are encouraged to strive to be ‘Agile’, ‘Limitless’, ‘Straight up’ and ‘United’.

The company’s Legal Operations department forms part of the Shared Services Centre in Bradford, providing legal services and support on claims that a brought against Virgin Media O2 as well as other matters such as real estate, wayleave, uninsured loss recovery, regulatory compliance, and commercial contracts.

During my 12-month placement at Liberty Global, I worked as a paralegal intern within the Legal Operations department, specifically, the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) team. I was responsible managing a high-volume caseload of claims brought against the company via the Communication’s Ombudsman, which was the final stage of the complaints process before litigation.

Initially I had somewhat of a slow start to the role. For the first two months I was shadowing and completing administrative tasks for the team. I found this a little tedious at the time because I was eager to gain more hands-on experience of managing cases. As a mature student, I already had a lot of work experience and felt my skills could be put to better use than admin work. Eventually when my knowledge and confidence grew, I was able to take on more responsibility and I was allocated my own caseload. I was able to quickly get to grips with the claims process and began to deal with cases at all stages of the claims journey, eventually increasing my exposure to more complex legal issues.

My responsibilities included reviewing claim forms and evidence, identifying the key facts of the case, researching, and analysing the legal issues and making decisions that are properly thought out, considering all the knowledge and information available. Although I was representing VM O2 and was responsible for making commercial decisions in the interest of the company, it was also important to balance the needs of the consumers against the stakeholders’ objectives. This required me to remain customer focused and try to reach the fairest outcome for the customers, which also protects the company’s reputation and customer retention.

In order to do so, this often required communicating with the customers directly, listening to the issues they had experienced, demonstrating empathy, and attempting to reach an outcome amicably. This could be a practical solution such as arranging an engineer visit, amending packages etc, or a financial remedy such as correcting any overpayments or providing financial compensation for the poor customer journey. Communication skills, active listening and empathy were essential in this role as quite often the customer had had such a frustrating experience trying to resolve their issues, that all they wanted was to feel heard and listened to and to receive a sincere apology for their customer journey.

Where it was not possible to reach an early resolution directly with the customer, the case would proceed to the investigation stage, in which I would be required to draft a defence, known as a ‘case file’, which would be reviewed by an independent adjudicator for the Communications Ombudsman. This involved following a standardised defence template, amending it to outline the facts of the case and referring to specific sections of the company’s terms and conditions to either absolve the company of liability or to mitigate the company’s losses. This required an in depth understanding of the company’s terms and conditions, an understanding of different packages and contracts available to customers, an understanding of company procedures and complaints process, as well as OFCOM rules and regulations and relevant legislation such as the Communications Act 2003 and the    Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Effective planning and time management skills were essential for managing the intense workload, which at times was overwhelming. The role required me to be highly organised in order to deal with my caseload to a high standard and in a timely manner. In some cases, this required working collaboratively with colleagues within the team, delegating tasks if necessary and occasional overtime to ensure strict deadlines were met.

It was essential to be able to use the online case management system effectively to enable me to manage and prioritise tasks by order of importance. It was also essential to keep clear file notes and logs of everything that has been done on each case. This allows for transparency and allows the team to pick up the case in a colleague’s absence if needed. Regular audits were completed on cases and feedback was given often on the file handler’s decision making and general housekeeping on the file.

Throughout my time on my placement, I feel that my main achievements were having the opportunity to put what I had learned in my first two years of study into practice, such as conducting legal research, analysing the facts of the case, reaching balanced decisions based on the evidence available. I was also able to gain a greater understanding variety of complex legal issues, including telecommunications law, contract law, and consumer protection law.

I feel the placement had a significant impact on my personal objectives and future career planning. It enabled me to gain an insight into an in-house legal department, as opposed to a law firm, the role, and responsibilities of a paralegal, and I found it highly beneficial to work alongside other legal professionals so that I was able to learn more about their individual career paths they had taken and different routes to qualification. As a result of the experience I gained and the contacts I made, I am confident that the placement will give me a competitive edge when I apply for jobs or training contracts upon completion of my studies.


I'm Ammara Haider, and my legal journey took an exciting turn with a placement year at DAC Beachcroft LLP, an international law firm, where I proudly became the first placement year student in the Leeds office.

I was given the role of a paralegal/claims handler in the Corporate Insurance and Risk department. My interest in the commercial sector took root when I launched my side henna business at the age of 16. Since then, I've been unravelling the secrets of business success and I have understood what makes a business stand out in a competitive industry. As a law student, I've delved into research and hands-on experiences in the realm of commercial law. Due to my unique exposures, I was offered a placement year role, solidifying my passion for the corporate and commercial sectors.

Specialising in industrial disease cases, I adeptly managed around 350 cases, and this required not only legal acumen but also strategic thinking and organisational prowess. I received invaluable training from senior legal professionals, further enriching my skill set and providing insights into the intricacies of the legal profession.

This journey involved ongoing adaptability and change in strategic thinking as the cases progressed. One notable success was a case in which I saved around £18,000 across damages and costs. This required numerous offers and rejections with the claimant's solicitor costs draftsman and seeking instructions from the co-insurers, all while taking the lead. I was praised for the outcome of this case, and my supervisor recommended sharing the accomplishment during a group meeting.

The delegated authority given by my clients, who were international insurers, elevated my sense of responsibility, highlighting my skills in client representation and negotiation. Navigating the ethical stance was a constant challenge, and my commitment to presenting fair and accurate advice showcased my ethical discernment and communication skills.

In addition, I served as the first point of contact for co-insurers and defendants, courts, the claimant's solicitors, brokers, my clients, and medical professionals, particularly in cases involving the request for audiograms. This pivotal role emphasised my communication skills and ability to liaise effectively across diverse stakeholders and parties. Working with other leading firms on the same cases, those instructed by co-insurers demanded effective teamwork and communication skills. This collaborative effort added another layer of complexity to my role, requiring seamless coordination to achieve the best outcomes for our clients.

Recognition for my dedication and proficiency came in the form of being shortlisted for a solicitor training contract, placing me among the top nine candidates and bypassing hundreds of applicants across the United Kingdom. This achievement underscored my abilities in legal analysis, case management, and client relations.

In this dynamic legal landscape, I integrated legal expertise with skills in leadership, client representation, negotiation, and collaboration. Upholding ethics and emerging as a strategic player, I navigated the intricacies of corporate insurance and risk, showcasing a comprehensive skill set that goes beyond the traditional boundaries of legal practice. Due to my success at the firm, DAC Beachcroft LLP are now recruiting more placement-year students from the University of Bradford.

Student posing for photo


How I got the placement

I decided to apply for different legal secretary/paralegal vacancies. One was Bradford Law Solicitors Ltd; I was then invited to an interview and was given the job.


My roller coaster of a journey with Bradford Law Solicitors Ltd provided me in-depth experience of the practical procedure in criminal defence. The culture and values were very simple; to respect one another, to provide excellent client care and good teamwork. These simple steps provided a good foundation for the firm.

My role

My role was that of a legal secretary then I was promoted to a caseworker. I was handling police station, magistrates and crown court cases.


The firm obtained their legal aid contract a couple of months before I joined the team.

I assisted with passing through the audit with brilliant feedback and minimal corrections. I had worked extra hours to ensure that the files were perfect, and the business side of the firm was also updated, this included the SQM (the Legal Aid Agency’s Special Quality Marker) reports using the SQM criteria. This was a great challenge for me as this was my first preparation for an audit. The staff were very supportive helped where necessary.

Communication, teamwork and organisation

We have a small team in the firm and my role required me to communicate clearly with all of them to ensure that the requisite procedure run smoothly. For example, as soon as a file finishes or an interim bill is required to be submitted, I will make relevant amendments to the file to make it easy to follow. Then I would hand the file to the billing clerk. Once this is done, we would have a meeting with the firm consultant to make further progress on the file, this was mostly the case if the matter was subject to POCA.

I also improved the teamwork and communication by changing the way the files were organised. I noticed that the billing clerk was struggling with billing the files. I organised the files by dividing each file into sections namely correspondence, experts, our defence, prosecution papers, magistrates, police station and legal aid. This way it was easier for her to navigate through the files and bill them faster.

Progression of the firm

When I started working at the firm, there were approximately 9 crown court files. By the end of my placement, there were over 30 crown court files. I was the case worker on all cases. I would chase the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for response to offers or further evidence requests etc.

We have a duty to update the court on the progress of the cases so I would update both court and the CPS.

Reflection on the progression of the firm

Although I had overcome many boundaries in helping the firm progress, it was very stressful. There were more cases, meaning more deadlines, and more work to do. I had to work faster. This was a continuous cycle and I burnt out at one stage.

I overcame this. I took time out and delegated tasks. I had meetings with my supervisor, and he assisted in confirming the allocated tasks.

My progression

What amazed me most is my progress in terms of my oral and written communication. My understanding of criminal procedures also became very clear. This enabled me to progress further by having unsupervised conferences with clients and barristers.

Reflection on my progression

However, I had made many mistakes before I understood my responsibilities. To avoid making these mistakes again, I would have a meeting with my supervisor to understand why the mistake was made, clarify what needs to be done next time and I reflected on this to set a system in place to ensure that the mistake does not happen again.

For example, I had missed a deadline for filing a defence statement. I then reflected on this and decided to place two reminders in the firm’s diary to chase up the defence statement. This way I would not forget about the statement, and it gives me enough time to chase the barrister and ask for an extension if needed.

Impact on the firm

Before finishing my placement, I had trained the new employee who is also a placement student from the School of Law, University of Bradford. I explained the criminal procedures from arrest and the Police Station to Crown Court. I explained what her role was, and I advised her on how to be more efficient. I also explained some of the mistakes I have made in the past so that she could learn from them.

Personal Objectives

I have no regrets on working with Bradford Law Solicitors Ltd. My future career goal is to become a criminal solicitor. This year has taught me the skills required to become a criminal solicitor, including being more assertive, having conferences with clients, taking client instructions, attending police stations to observe interviews, preparing for audits, liaising with prosecution, and filling in legal aid forms.

I would definitely need to gain more experience such as advocacy skills and attend courts. I will also need to strengthen the skills that I have obtained from this year. The best way to do this is to find a part time criminal paralegal vacancy and take part in mooting sessions and competitions.

How Year 1 and Year 2 has helped me on this placement.

In year 1, I obtained a range of skills and knowledge. Legal skills including drafting was a big help as I had to draft emails and letters. It also helped with my oral communication and using the economy of words to make my communication more concise.

I also learnt criminal law in year two. This gave me a head start in understanding what the issues in the case would be and the basic elements to the crime. 

How will my placement year help me in my final year?

My placement year has helped me greatly in my attention to detail and oral communication. This would help me in research and presentations.

In addition to this, due to the increasing number of cases, I had learnt to manage my time better. Hence, I believe that this skill will help me with time management when preparing for lectures, assignments and making time for other commitments for example, gym and family.


I enjoyed working at this firm and appreciate the fact that they believed in me and trusted me with handling the cases. I am also grateful for the extensive insight I got from working as a legal secretary/caseworker. Should Bradford Law Solicitors Ltd have a vacancy open in the future, I would consider applying.