Seven people have graduated from the first cohort of Chadwick Lawrence’s Start Real Estate academy – and now start their conveyancing careers at the firm.

Yorkshire legal firm Chadwick Lawrence launched Start, a new real estate training academy earlier this year. The move is part of its overall growth strategy and to help remove some of the traditional barriers young people can face when starting a legal career.

The training took place over eight weeks and all seven participants graduated in September. They now take up fee earning trainee conveyancer jobs in the firm’s Wakefield, Bradford, and Huddersfield offices.

The academy was designed to give anyone with little or no knowledge of the conveyancing process, the full skills to be able to start a new career with Chadwick Lawrence. With a course covering everything from administration and using case management systems, to reading legal titles and building client relationships.

Course leader Kayleigh Needham says: “The first academy experience was a true test as to whether we can achieve such big ambitions for the firm to enable us to grow. There have been many learning curves along the way, and ultimately, we’re delighted to have achieved our goal, to train seven people with no conveyancing experience to become fee earners. Our next training academy will be bigger and better. I’m so proud of everyone involved in building this academy and to those trainees who gave it their all.”

The new trainee conveyancers are:

Bradford native Francesca Carter, who is now based at the firm’s Bradford office, and joins from New College Bradford where she was studying A-Level Law.

Halifax-based Grace Acton, based at the firm’s Huddersfield office, joins from Leeds Beckett University where she was studying Law. Grace also worked part time at Asda in a customer service role.

Leeds-based Colette Farrar, based at the Wakefield office, joins from Leeds Beckett University where she was studying LLB Law. Colette also worked part time at Amazon as a warehouse operative.

Also from Leeds, and joining Colette at Wakefield, is Lucy Woods, who previously worked as a conveyancing assistant at Martin Gaffney & Co.
And Louise Stapleton, who joins the firm following a career break raising her family. Louise used to work as gymnastics coach.

Wakefield native Alexander Grogan, joins the Wakefield team from the University of Huddersfield where she was studying law. And Lyndsay Clark, further strengthens the Wakefield team in an internal move from the firm’s Post Completion Team in Huddersfield where she’s worked for the past three years.

Colette says: “Throughout the Start academy experience I have developed relationships with my peers and colleagues who have supported my professional journey. I’ve learnt about the conveyancing process and been able to develop my skills and knowledge in the training room which I can now utilise on my own caseload. I’m grateful for the patience and confidence from my training manager Kayleigh and all of Chadwick Lawrence.”

Grace adds: “I’m excited to be a part of a brand-new training scheme and to start my conveyancing career with Chadwick Lawrence. It’s given me the skills, knowledge and confidence going forward to be able to work on my own case files. And learning to build relationships ultimately created a supportive atmosphere in the training room. I believe that the academy will help build many successful conveyancers in the future.”

The next Start training academy course starts in November. Start offers a ‘fast-track’ learning and development programme (over eight weeks instead of a minimum of 12). It is delivered by the Chadwick Lawrence experts and consist of classroom-based training in all areas of conveyancing law, client management, and working on live cases, from their Paragon Business Village Wakefield office.

The academy is for law graduates, people who have an entry level law qualification, and school and college leavers who don’t have formal qualifications but want a career in real estate. At the end of the course, graduates will receive a formal qualification and join the Real Estate Team, where they will work their own caseloads with fully structured personal development plans and one-to-one manager support.

For more information, or to apply please contact a member of the HR Team at or visit the careers page at Chadwick Lawrence Careers