Every year Walkers places a growing number of summer interns within various departments of the company.
Combined with the recruitment of promising students to train as attorneys, sponsorship of further education for administrative staff and a legal secretary training programme, there is a broad range of educational and training opportunities offered by the company to Caymanians.
This year there were 15 students working at Walkers under the ‘Summer Intern Programme’, which is designed to provide an intense two months of hands-on, in-depth work experience in a busy law firm.
Students from various schools in Cayman were placed around the firm’s departments: in Information Technology, Human Resources, Operations and Accounts, as well as in the firm’s licensed trust company.
Walkers also has in place a structured Attorney Training Programme, designed to encourage the recruitment of Cayman’s finest and most ambitious young scholars, by sponsoring their education. Currently there are ten sponsored students and some of them also spent the past summer working with Walkers. Among these participants are Ridhima Kapoor, who is studying her LLB at the UK’s University of Nottingham, Chantelle Day, who is studying her LLB at the University of Bristol and Tracey Touhey, who is taking her LLB at the Cayman Islands Law School.
Summer vacation employment with the firm presents its sponsored students with direct experience of the legal environment to complement their studies. “I feel that working as a student at Walkers has been most beneficial for my studies and future career,” said Ms Kapoor. “It has been most helpful because I have a more defined view of the work that lawyers do from day-to-day,” she added. “I have been able to attain some work experience in different areas of law during the summer and this has given me assistance with deciding where my future career should be within the industry.”
“Working at Walkers this summer, as well as in the past, has been beneficial to my professional development as it allows me to work in an environment where I can learn the ins and outs of the career path I am on, both through observation and hands on experience,” said Ms Day.
After the relevant educational courses have been completed, the next stage on the road to becoming an attorney is a position as an Articled Clerk. Walkers’ Articles Programme is an intense 18-month practical training period, rotating through all of the firm’s practice areas. The clerks receive a combination of formal legal training and invaluable hands-on experience, giving them the chance to determine which area of the law to specialise in. This September, Walkers took on four new Articled Clerks in Cayman.
“We encourage active participation and contribution, enabling our Articled Clerks to be rewarded with excellent training opportunities, tangible professional development and a real sense of accomplishment,” said Richard Addlestone, partner with Walkers and chairman of the Training Committee, which is comprised of partners, senior attorneys and former scholarship recipients. “Walkers has been training Caymanians in the legal profession for 25 years now and we were the first firm in the country to establish a comprehensive structured training programme,” he added. “All the members of the Training Committee are completely dedicated to the professional development and success of our Articled Clerks and sponsored students.”
Administrative staff at Walkers also benefit from educational sponsorship, with routine investment in the non-legal studies of employees from the IT, Marketing, HR and Accounts departments. Among the staff currently on courses at UCCI are; Peter Jurgens (Bachelors – Computer Science), Yarian Powery (Associate – Applied Science – Computer Science) and Kaye Bodden (Associate of Arts – Accounting – continuing to Bachelors). Kitti Conolly in HR is studying her Bachelors in Business Administration by distance learning with Saint Leo University in the US, while Kerry Christian is on the BSc Information Systems Management with the same institution.
Walkers’ legal secretary training programme has enabled many employees to gain important qualifications and make progress within the firm, while Walkers Trust Group, meanwhile, recently partnered with the ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators),to provide the opportunity for its staff to study locally and gain a globally recognised offshore administration qualification.
Overall Walkers has spent over US$1.9 million on scholarships over the past three years. “Walkers’ summer intern and attorney training programmes have been developed from our commitment towards being a responsible employer and corporate citizen,” commented Grant Stein, Global Managing Partner of Walkers. “I am immensely pleased with the success rate of the students and would like to congratulate them on their achievements. Over 80% of Walkers’ management staff are Caymanian and we are always on the look out for promising young scholars.”