A law graduate has become the first of what law firm, Thompsons Solicitors, hopes is “a new wave of lawyers”, following a placement as part of a recent partnership with Sheffield Hallam University.

Lucy Etheridge, joined the social justice law firm last October on a part-time basis as part of the university’s ‘Law in Practice’ scheme, which aims to provide practical experience of the legal principles studied and allow students to begin building a professional network.

The 21-year-old was chosen after taking part in an assessment day and spent one day a week at Thompsons Solicitors.

Now, after a successful interview, she works for the firm full-time.

Lucy said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have landed a full-time job at the firm that taught me so much as part of my placement.

“I applied for the role as I was really keen to continue working for Thompsons to help clients receive the compensation they deserve following a personal injury.

“Thompsons is a great fit as it mirrors my own personal values of fighting for justice and seeking positive change in the community.”

Lucy is the first in her family to attend university and supported herself throughout her studies by working part-time. She also worked at ‘Support Through Court’, a voluntary charity that helps individuals who cannot afford legal representation. Her duties involved providing emotional support as well as drafting and serving relevant legal documents to court.

As well as working for the firm full-time, Lucy will also undertake the Legal Practice Course part time at weekends from September. She hopes to study personal injury, insurance and employment law electives and to follow through to qualify as a solicitor.

Lindsey Greaves, a solicitor at Thompsons’ Sheffield office, said: “We hope Lucy is the first of many graduates who will join Thompsons in this way.

“It was clear from the outset that she was committed to the role, often attending training courses and conducting research beyond the requirements of the placement to increase her understanding.

“We hope Lucy’s success encourages other students at Sheffield Hallam University to take up the Law in Practice module and find a path to a fulfilling career with a law firm uniquely committed to social justice in our city.”