Careers with Us

Careers with Us

Any current vacancies are set out below together with details of our work experience programmes. However, we are an ambitious and dynamic practice and always on the lookout to meet and speak with the best and the brightest lawyers. We believe that Watkins Solicitors is a great place to work so if you would like to have an informal chat with us, in complete confidence, then please contact our Practice Manager Gina Grohmann. This firm welcomes applications from all sections of the community irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

EMPLOYMENT SOLICITOR/CHARTERED LEGAL EXECUTIVE

Part-time – 12-month fixed-term contract

We are looking for a qualified Solicitor or Chartered Legal Executive with at least 3 years PQE to undertake employment work on a 12-month fixed-term contract (covering a period of maternity leave). This role will be suitable for any applicant with good employment experience who is looking for part-time flexible working. The successful applicant will be based in our Bedminster Office in central Bristol and primarily will provide general employment advice on a wide range of issues, including prospects of succeeding with Employment Tribunal claims and the ACAS Early Conciliation process as well as litigating claims through the Tribunal process, negotiating settlements and advising on the terms and effects of Settlement Agreements. There will also be an opportunity for the successful applicant to assist in business development.

Requirements of Successful Applicant:

  • Qualified Solicitor or Chartered Legal Executive with at least 3 years PQE
  • Can demonstrate a sound understanding and be able to advise on all aspects of employment law
  • Is competent advising on Settlement Agreements and authorised to sign off 
  • Must have good general knowledge and experience in the Employment Tribunal process
  • Experience litigating both Claimant and Respondent matters
  • Able to use initiative to drive work forward 
  • Excellent client care skills 
  • Confident, able to work alone and use initiative 
  • Excellent communication skills 

About the Company

As well as being recognised as national leaders in the field of education law, we are also now seen as one of the leading family law firms in Bristol and the South West. Founded in 1998 by Beverley Watkins, we have grown and expanded to three offices in Bristol whilst developing a formidable and highly experienced team of lawyers. All of our lawyers are experts in their specialisation. We do not dabble. Our lawyers are both committed and supportive and our aim is to make legal services affordable.

What you can expect working for us

A supportive community of lawyers
Opportunity for development 
Competitive salary and benefits 

Please send CV and covering letter to Jennene Warmington jw@watkinssolicitors.co.uk. Closing date:11th October 2019. 

This firm welcomes applications from all sections of the community irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.


 

RECEPTIONIST

We are a busy solicitors' firm with a number of departments, including Family, Education, Wills and Probate, Employment, Regulatory and Conveyancing. Currently, we have three offices in Bristol and Bath. Due to further expansion, we are seeking to appoint a full-time Admin Assistant/Receptionist. The firm very much supports continual training and embraces new technology to assist with work.

This will be an exciting and varied role, and you will play a crucial part in the firm's continued success.

Qualities the ideal candidate should possess:

  • A good knowledge of Microsoft Word and Office is essential
  • An excellent telephone manner and people skills are vital, as is a sensitivity for dealing with vulnerable clients
  • Previous experience is an advantage

Duties will include:

  • Answering the telephone
  • Dealing with postal duties (including franking, arranging special and recorded delivery items at the Post Office and collection of DX from local collection point)
  • Banking duties
  • Opening and closing/archiving files
  • Filing and photocopying
  • Any other duties which are compatible with the role of Receptionist as directed by the Practice Manager or the partners.

We are looking for the successful candidate to be professional and able to work from their own initiative. They must also demonstrate meticulous attention to detail and manage their own time effectively.

In return, you can expect a rewarding career. We believe in looking after our employees, which is why we offer a flexible work policy to help with the balance between personal and professional life. We also provide a Recognition Award Scheme and Bike2Work Scheme.

The successful candidates will initially be based at our Fishponds Branch but may be required to attend other branches on occasion.

The salary will be £8.00-£8.50 per hour depending on experience

To apply, please send a CV with a covering letter to Jennene Warmington jw@watkinssolicitors.co.uk. Closing date is 16th September 2019.

This firm welcomes applications from all sections of the community irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.


 

BILLING CLERK

An exciting opportunity has arisen to be an integral part of the accounts department and to join a growing team. We are currently recruiting a full-time Billing Clerk. Ideal start date as soon as possible. Continual training is very much supported by the firm. The firm embraces new technology to assist with work.

Responsibilities:

  1. Prepare private bills as and when required
  2. Prepare monthly billing Statements for private clients
  3. Prepare and submit Legal Help/legal aid bills as and when required
  4. Cost draft Legal Aid Claims as and when required
  5. Prepare Exceptional Claims as and when required
  6. Prepare monthly billing for fee-earners as directed
  7. Any other duties which are compatible with the role of Billing Clerk as directed by the Practice Manager or the partners

We are looking for the successful candidate to be professional and able to work from their own initiative; demonstrate meticulous attention to detail; and effectively manage their own time. Travel to our Bath office may be required from time to time, so full UK driving license and own vehicle will be advantageous.

In return, you can expect a rewarding career. We believe in looking after our employees, which is why we offer a great flexible work policy to help you balance your personal and professional life. A Recognition Award Scheme and a Bike2Work Scheme is also provided.

The successful candidates will be based at our Fishponds Branch but may be required to attend other branches on occasion. You will be required to attend our Bedminster office for an initial period of 2 weeks; however, this could be more.

The salary will be £9.00-£9.50 per hour, depending on experience and qualification.

To apply, please send a CV with a covering letter to Jennene Warmington jw@watkinssolicitors.co.uk. Closing date: 16th September 2019. 

This firm welcomes applications from all sections of the community irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

 

 

WORK EXPERIENCE

Watkins Solicitors offer work experience placements to university students. Please note you must be over 18 years of age and have completed at least one year at university to be considered for a work placement. Work experience students will be expected to work and will not merely “shadow” members of staff.  You should, however, have the opportunity to observe court hearings in the family court. We only offer work placements to those interested in family and education work. If you are not interested in these areas of law, please do not apply for a work experience placement at this firm. Work experience placements are only offered for a minimum of a two week period. If you are interested in a work experience placement, please contact either Charlotte Charlton (cc@watkinssolicitors.co.uk) or Martyna Piatkowska  (mp@watkinssolicitors.co.uk) our Work Experience Coordinators. Please note that places are often booked well in advance.

*** We are now FULLY BOOKED for 2019. We will be considering applications for summer 2020 placements from January 2020.***


FROM PREVIOUS WORK PLACEMENT STUDENTS

"Dear 'the amazing team at Watkins Solicitors', I just wanted to thank you all SO MUCH for giving me one of the greatest opportunities and experiences I have ever had. I have learned so much over the past two weeks and I want you all to know how utterly grateful I am to have worked alongside the loveliest group of people I have ever met. My placement here has ignited my ambition to pursue a career in law, particularly in the family sector, and I cannot wait to do all the GDL and start learning it all! I have enjoyed every second of my time here – thank you so much for having me. Best wishes to you all, Emily"

To Beverly and everyone at Watkins Solicitors, thank you very much for the past two weeks, I gained invaluable insight and experience in Family Law. I had the opportunity to observe client meetings and court hearings, to prepare bundles and to learn new skills such as time recording. I believe I will greatly benefit from the eventful two weeks for a very long time! Andy

Dear All, I just wanted to take the time and express my gratitude in meeting you all and for working alongside you these past two weeks.  It was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed every minute of it all.  I wish each and every one all the best in the future.  What I learned from you all will help assist myself in the future.  I also appreciate the confidence you showed in me the past two weeks. Phillip

"Dear All, As this is my last day at Watkins Solicitors – I would like to thank you all for being so welcoming and for giving me the opportunity to come here for work experience.  These past weeks have been very educational and interesting, as I have had the pleasure of meeting some of your clients and observed what a great impact this firm has on their lives.

I want to thank Sheldon, Victoria and Beverley for allowing me to come along to conference meetings and court hearings.  I would also like to thank James, Charlotte, Martyna, Lydia, Judit, Dan (basically everyone!) for being so helpful and patient with me!  It has been a pleasure to work with you all and I hope to stay in touch." FA

"Dear Beverley and everyone at Watkins Solicitors, thank you so much for making the last two weeks so interesting and enjoyable. You’ve all made me feel so welcome and kept me busy, which I really appreciate! My time here has definitely sparked an interest in pursuing family law, and I’ve learnt a lot from watching everyone and getting involved. Thanks again and best wishes" Emily 

 "To Beverley and everyone at Watkins Solicitors The two weeks I spent at Watkins were invaluable. Whilst in the office I completed tasks on real cases, including preparing court bundles, drafting correspondence, making telephone calls and legal research. I was taught how to do time-recording, a skill which is absolutely necessary in a solicitor’s office, and attended court nearly every day to witness hearings and discussions. I felt privileged to be allowed to be a part of the everyday workings of the firm, and was always made to feel useful! I believe that the experience has given me a real insight into Family and Education law in particular, and I feel encouraged to pursue my goal of becoming a solicitor." RP

"I wanted to say a big thank you for having me these past two weeks – it has been absolutely brilliant and valuable experience. I really believe in your areas of law, and look forward to using my experiences gained in the future. With very best wishes"   Rosie

"I just wanted to contact you to say thank you very much for offering work experience opportunities. Work experience in general is obviously extremely important but at Watkins I was able to have a very practical experience and not simply work shadow. It has been an invaluable experience and I have learnt a lot. Thanks again, and I will be sure to keep in touch. Kind regards"   EG

"Dear Lisa, Beverly and everyone at Watkins, thank you for offering me work experience in August 2015. I really appreciated being able to carry out a range of tasks and attend the family drop-ins and court.  I was able to improve on skills which will be invaluable to me in the future and learnt a lot more about family law. I really enjoyed working with everyone in the office, and hope to keep in touch." Best wishes   HF


Natalie De-Merist and ‘Law in Action’

Natalie joined Watkins Solicitors in September 2014 whilst she was completing her final year of a law degree at UWE. She is the third student to undertake a work placement with the ‘Law in Action’ module. Here is what she had to say about her time at Watkins Solicitors.

“In September 2014 I undertook a work placement at Watkins Solicitors for a ‘Law in Action’ module at university. This was once a week for a total of 25 days. During this time I was expected to work rather than shadow, and completed tasks such as time recording, filing, creating court bundles, communicating with clients and corresponding with the Court. I also had the opportunity to go to court and shadow the solicitor in the advocates meeting and in the hearing. These experiences have certainly helped develop skills that I will use in my career, and in particular, my confidence and letter drafting skills have increased a great deal.

“This opportunity provided a great insight into what a career as a solicitor would entail. I am particularly grateful for this as at the time I was uncertain whether this was the correct career path for me, and whether I should go on to study the LPC. However, having undertaken my placement I felt both reassured about my career choice as well as encouraged to achieve. The ‘hands-on’ approach at Watkins meant that I got a great deal out of my placement, and much more so than if I were just required to shadow. I thoroughly enjoyed working at the firm and seeing the law being applied in action.”