Employer Stories - Conveyancing - Shoosmiths

Tue 21 Mar 2023

Are you interested in helping people buy their dream home? Want to know more about how the property legal system works in England? Selling dreams as a Conveyancer includes the nitty gritty of legal contracts and financial arrangements to enable a property transaction to take place.

It’s more than just paperwork and involves working closely with the vendor and buyer, becoming an expert in property legislation, knowing the difference between Freehold and Leasehold, navigating the English legal system and, ultimately, delivering a satisfactory outcome for your clients.

We interviewed Vicki Abbott, a Conveyancing Trainer at Law Firm Shoosmiths, who gives insight into her role; shedding light on what’s involved in training to become a Licenced Conveyancer with MOL.

Vicki, Can you tell me a little bit about the sector that you work within and is there anything that's affecting it at the moment that your team needs to be prepared for?

We are having some huge changes at the moment. There’s a skills crisis, people leaving the profession and struggling to attract new talent and a lot of legal changes going on at the moment within the conveyancing sector and changes to building safety and cladding.

We've also got potential changes to leasehold law, with new legislation coming in. There's a lot going on in the sector and a lot for people to be getting excited about.

Why should someone consider a career in conveyancing?

Conveyancing is not for everybody, but if you enjoy it, it's amazing. It gives you such a buzz. No two days are ever the same. You get a real thrill from making somebody's dreams come true. Literally. That's their dream house. And you've bought that for them. And they're so grateful that really is the best feeling in the world. And it gives you this range of different areas of law, whereas some other jobs, they pigeonhole you into planning law or tax law or contract law.

This covers so many things we need to know about contract law. We need to know about land law. We need to understand tax. We need to understand construction and building safety as there’s a lot going on with that area. We need to understand all about planning and building regulations, changes to legislation and need to understand about people who are vulnerable and issues regarding probate and powers of attorney. It really is little bit of every area of law. So if you're interested in law generally it's great for that. And it's a fun place to work. It's a good thing to do. It's fast-paced.

No two days are the same, you learn something new every day.

Tell us what's the main reason for up upskilling your team with this conveyancing qualification?

We have a lot of people who come to Shoosmiths and into conveyancing with law degrees or are solicitors and that's great. But there are also a lot of people that come in who don't have a law degree or who don't have those qualifications, maybe start off in junior positions and then realise that this is something of interest to them that they want to do as a career. This is a really good option for those people to upskill and to obtain those qualifications without necessarily having to go back to university or take time out and pay a lot of money for certain other qualifications. It's a way we can upscale our staff whilst they carry on working with us and we can support them with that.

What benefits have you noticed already from some of your staff studying for the conveyancing qualification?

We've got quite a few people studying now. Some are studying for the Level 4 diploma, which is a conveyancing technician qualification. We've got a mixture of staff from different levels, including some more support and paralegal level that are now really starting to learn why they're doing this job. Before they were maybe ticking some boxes and doing the practical side of the job, but they didn't maybe have the legal knowledge already.

Some of them that have only just started, they're already starting to say: “Oh, I now know why we asked that question or why we do what we do.” And they're feeling more confident in advising clients and customers and estate agents. They can really understand why they're telling people and the advice that they're giving obviously is more accurate. And therefore, it's just helping us all round really. 

Are there any other benefits?

Yes. We are getting more staff who know what they're doing. People are trained, they're being upskilled. Hopefully that keeps the staff retention. It also hopefully attracts new people into the business, knowing that they can have a career in conveyancing. This is not just a job that they do, they can have a career here. They can get their qualifications and it's really an interesting sector. No two days are the same in conveyancing. So hopefully, by knowing that these things are going on, people are attracted to the profession.

And how would you say that the learners are finding that experience of combining studying whilst they're working as well?

The feedbacks been good. It's always going to be a be a challenge for people to do a full-time job and then go home and study in their own time. Of course, the people that we've got really want to achieve that qualification, so they're really focused on making sure that they're putting the time aside to achieve that and to study. Also, we're supporting them where we can through work and through time off, with study leave.

But because the job is so relevant to the qualification, it really helps them apply that knowledge, which then pushes them to learn the next step, and they can really see the benefits from what they've learned. It's a challenge for anybody to take on a course or training whilst working full time. And we've also got some people that are doing it while they are working part time as well and some who have children. We've got a wide range of people doing it and they're all getting on well so far.

Finally, why did you choose MOL rather than another provider?

The main reason that we picked MOL is that it's all online. We are based in the Midlands, and don't necessarily have any local providers where people can go to a college or physically turn up and be taught in person. There are a few providers that offer that elsewhere in the country, but we really need something that people can study in their own time without having to go to a college that they can do on a Saturday morning if they want or on a Sunday at midnight if they want.

It gives full flexibility for people to study online, whenever they want, one hour a day or no hours that day or five hours that day. Complete flexibility for people to do it at their own speed, with all of the Technical Support from the online system that it provides.

Find out more about our Conveyancing courses.

CLC logo

Licensed Conveyancing

We’re proud to offer nationally recognised SQA qualifications in Licensed Conveyancing.

Improve the performance
of your people

We’ll help you design a bespoke training and development curses built around your people.

Propertymark logo

Property Agency 

Attain high professional standards, adapt to legislative changed and achieve a nationally recognised qualification.