Protect and law firm Howard Kennedy joined forces for a successful secondment, offering a three-month secondment to Protect’s trainee solicitor, Hari Raithatha, and Howard Kennedy’s trainee solicitor, Diarra Brown. So, how did they get on, and what did they both learn?
Qu: What did you do, and what did you learn?
Hari: Being at Howard Kennedy gave me a real insight into how employment law issues impact organisations on a daily basis. While working in the employment team I worked on a real mix of issues including advising on the employment issues in the acquisition of company and also advising on a disability discrimination matter as part of the firms Pro Bono program.
Diarra: To be proactive and to put yourself forward this is very much appreciated especially in an organisation like Protect. Taking the time to listen and show empathy can drastically improve someone’s outlook.
Qu: Was it what you expected, did anything surprise you?
Hari: I was really surprised by the mix of issues that the employment team would be involved with at any one time. Nothing could have prepared me for the challenge of putting case bundle together!!!
Diarra: I didn’t know what to expect from the secondment and went into it with an open mind. What suprised me, was the amount of challenging calls the advice line receives. The variety of concerns raised and the fact that calls can come from senior managers and HR. As an advisor you need to ensure that you are as equipped to deal with this.
Qu: What were the challenges?
Hari: Having to constantly think on your feet and get up to speed with a number of different areas of law in a short period of time.
Diarra: Learning everyone’s names… I would have to say getting used to a completely different environment in a short space of time, but it was good to try a new way of working.
Qu: Would you recommend the experience and what we’re your takeaways?
Hari: Absolutely! Working at Howard Kennedy has really opened my eyes to how dynamic and constantly changing employment law is. It has been great to have gained an insight into this. It’s shown me the value of providing clear, practical solutions to clients, which I’m really keen to develop in my work at Protect training businesses and advising whistleblowers. Visiting the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal with Counsel (while daunting!) has really helped me understand some of the issues faced by litigants in person when presenting cases.
Diarra: Yes, I’d recommend the experience, as I got as much as I put in and put my hand up for everything! I think this was appreciated. My takeaway was never underestimate how valuable your input can be. Especially to a whistleblower in the midst of a challenging work situation.
Qu: What will you miss?
Hari: The weekly lunch and learn sessions with the other corporate trainees and the amazing office. And also working round the corner from Borough Market! But I’ll miss some of the great people I met – but hope to stay in touch with them!
Diarra: The people without a doubt.