Connor O’Dell, a Conveyancing Manager at Law Firm Shoosmiths gives his take on training to be a licensed conveyancer.
He’s worked at Law Firm Shoosmiths for six years and is studying the MOL Level 4 Diploma in Conveyancing Law & Practice.
Can you tell me a little bit about Shoosmiths and what your particular job entitles?
I have two paralegals under me dealing with their own particular case loads of sales and purchases, but my day job involves checking legal titles, assisting clients with their house moves and responding to any queries or questions they've got, together with dealing with mortgage lender requirements for the client.
How quickly have you been able to apply your learning into your role and if so, how have you seen that integrated?
At the moment I'm only on the first couple of modules, so it's quite broad in terms of information. I was a bit dubious about how it would be applied because it's such a vast amount of information to take in. But I think I've been surprised already with the application in practice. It's already assisting me with client queries on technical stuff that I probably wouldn’t have had any idea on before and would have had to seek advice from someone else, whereas now I get a bit more of an understanding of the actual law.
Have you seen any improvement in yourself since starting your studies?
I think soft skills have helped in terms of applying myself during the assessments. I think with the actual technical knowledge that you're taking on, you just your use ability to push yourself and find the information before reporting back and utilizing those skills.
What benefit does this bring to your business and how will Shoosmiths gain in you achieving your qualification?
I think just generally, the more technically advanced conveyancers you've got in a firm the more you can all pull together and help each other out. There are always going to be areas where one person's more knowledgeable than the other, and if everyone's experts in their own areas, we can merge that information into one and give clients the best service they can get.
And how have you found your learning experience so far?
In terms of time, it's definitely difficult to slot it in during the week working full-time hours. But also it's nice that it's independent learning and if you have a really busy week and you struggle to fit too many hours in you can do more hours at the weekend or vice versa if you have a weekend where you don't have the opportunity to study too much, you can always make the time up.
Do you do you use the VLE or webinars? How do you study?
Yeah, I think MOL is a really user friendly experience and I guess you've got the webinars and the manual to choose from, but I've used both. I think it's good you can track your progress on each module, through the percentage of the module. So I think it is user friendly.
And in a nutshell, how likely are you to recommend MOL and why?
I think it's definitely a good platform, although it's completely independent learning and you do have to push yourself when you do need the advice. You've got the opportunity to speak to the tutors and get a bit of guidance and where you're looking to find your answer from. Although there's not that everyday interaction with the VLE, you have got the platform there to get the information or get guidance if you do need it.
So why should someone consider a career in conveyancing, do you think?
I’d definitely recommend a career in conveyancing to others. I think it's a super fast-paced environment and you will helping clients during an extremely stressful time. It is rewarding getting them over the finish line and clients are grateful. And like I said earlier, there's such a vast amount of information to absorb that every day's different. There will always be something cropping up that you've not seen before. And I think that means you can always keep learning and you always feel like you are progressing to get somewhere better and improving in your role.
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