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For the first in our #TraineeThrowback series we talked to our Private Client Solicitor, Alastair James about his journey from Trainee, to Solicitor and President!

What was the process of you becoming a Solicitor at Ramsdens?

I joined Ramsdens in 2016, starting out a Paralegal in the Private Client department and completed my training contract with the firm, qualifying as a solicitor in September 2020.

What made you choose to do a training contract at Ramsdens?

It comes back to my previous work experience with the firm and already having experience of the culture and staff. I also enjoyed how involved the trainees are with the firm, getting to attend a plethora of events and represent the firm.

Did you always know you wanted to specialise in Private Client?

I had a strong idea. I started out my legal career in Private Client and think I was lucky enough to know where I wanted to go early on. The most enjoyable aspect of this department is having clients that are happy with the work we have done and feel better for having instructed us. Taking a client thorough something which seems like a problem at the outset and resolving it, whether it be dealing with the estate of a family member or the planning for their own estates.

What has been your career highlight to date?

I feel very honoured to be appointed as the President of the Huddersfield and Dewsbury Incorporated Law Society. I have enjoyed my role on the committee over the last few years and that of Vice President for the past 12 months.

I have been involved with the Society since beginning my training contract and I find it a real highlight, just one year after qualifying as a solicitor to have been recognised and selected as their President.

If you could go back to when you were a trainee and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

If in doubt, ask. It is very easy to overlook things and if you have a doubt as to whether you may have, then ask someone. Never rest on your laurels because there’s always something around the corner that you haven’t come across before. Managing client expectations is crucial.

What advice do you have for current trainees?

Throw yourself into every opportunity that comes your way, build your network both internally and externally and just generally enjoy it.


At Ramsdens we firmly believe our people are our greatest asset and this is reflected in the time and care we invest in our trainees, we are passionate about their development offering a supportive, collaborative and inclusive culture.

Applications for our Training Contracts are now open. Find out more here.