Blog & News

Answering a Question – Intellectual Interests

Hello Everyone, 

I would like to thank you for taking the time to read all the blog posts made on StudyingLaw, I think I can speak for all of us that do that we write these blogs purely for altruistic purpose and we want people to learn something from them, or seek refuge in them that you indeed are not alone! There are hundreds of us pursuing those elusive Pupillages and Training Contracts.

This Blog post is somewhat unorthodox in that it is merely a reply to a question posted on my first blog, I thought it might be of interest to others with an interest in Intellectual Property and other Intellectual Law

This was the question?

“I’d like to know more about your interest in “trolling”, why is this a focus for you? I’ve heard about it, but didn’t realize it had a legal side to it.” 


I believe Trolling is an element of intellectual law, ideally I would love to practice Intellectual Property Law, as its one of the newest areas of law…It being so new leaves a lot of room for discovery and the opportunity to learn. I’m a not-so-secret academic and I would love to have something published in a legal journal one day!

The reason why Trolling is an interest is because it currently is one of the biggest growing viral crimes hitting the 21st century, and due to an ever growing demand on social media, not just by the common public but by companies and organisations, it is a worrying concern.

Passing legislation on trolling is a difficult issue, the rights of privacy need to be respected if not we may as well accept a true Big Brother world, hello 1984! But the rights of the person must also be protected…Which rights are more important? What powers are needed? Who should be given these powers? Are all questions of Law that need to be considered to ensure the right convictions are made and the right preventative measures are put in place.

Currently, Trolling convictions are difficult and sometimes misplaced, I believe, after in depth reading into many convictions, those convictions and sentences are undeserved, but nevertheless, the courts are keen to interpret the law to secure a conviction in order to show other “trollers” that it will not be legally tolerated.

Gone are the days that assault merely constituted a few violent words being exchanged by a spoken voice, can you feel imminent fear to something written on the internet.
Is that fear reasonable if the person is say on a different continent, for example, if I threatened to seriously harm someone in America, it is very unlikely that I will one day do so and therefore unreasonable that someone should still apprehend fear or imminent violence. But have I still committed assault?

Is trolling the new internet assault? How would you secure evidence to secure a conviction without breaching a person’s right to privacy or to undermine someone’s Article 2 ECHR rights of innocent until proven guilty? As, I do not think the Law stands to assume guilt before it is proven.

Kind Regards, Emma!


I do not admit to being an expert on intellectual property, far from it, I’ve actually never had a lecture on IP so it is strange to think that someone with no prior experience to have such an interest.

My interest peaked after watching “The Social Network” which involved many instances of Breach of IP law. Such a strange beginning, but interest in anything, including law need not be from some profound moment, and I urge students to find interest wherever it may be…as it is a common idea that the areas you find most interesting, are normally the areas you will excel in.
After watching the aforementioned film, I began looking for everything relating to IP to bolster my interest and improve my education, anything from newspaper clippings, trending articles, lexology updates etc.

If I could put that on my CV I would but I wouldn’t know how to put research on to my CV.

But learning these things will make networking easier, it will give you an intelligent opinion when talking to other professionals. Before any event I attend, I make it my mission to find out as much as I can about the guests and their practice areas in case the opportunity arises to talk to them.
Just think Anne Hathaway in Devil Wears Prada, just without the Valentino!

When I attended my mini pupillage, I researched every QC, Barrister and Pupil in the entire chambers in case I spoke to them, trust me, there were plenty of them around the coffee bar in the morning, and it is these semi-informal chances that really stick you in someone’s mind. You never know, that article in the guardian you read on the train whilst commuting may get you a business card!


This blog post has ventured off into so many tangents and for that I apologise, but I do hope you have found it interesting and informative

I look forward to any and all comments!

Kindest Regards,
Gregory W Smith

Writing Great Law Lecture Notes [Study Tips 1/3]

This will be a mini 3 part blog series on study tips.

Essentially it’s what I wished I’d done sooner at university.

This part will be on writing great lecture notes, the next will be on seminar preperation, and the last will be on answer structure. It’s the stuff that’s worked for me in the past, hopefully it will work for you too.

When I first started at uni I made the worst law notes ever. They started out OK; each subject had its own notebook, I wrote down some important quotes by the lecturers, you could actually read what was written… it all went downhill from there. When my notes started looking like a page of spiders who had been drowned in a coffee flood I knew it was time for a change.

My notes weren’t bad when I first started out – they just lacked structure. I just wrote down anything I thought was important. Unfortunately this leaves you with a page of unconnected phrases. When you come to read them back later they’re useless.

You need to have some sort of plan & structure in mind or your notes will be as beneficial as a breakfast of gin and cough syrup before an exam.


You need everything to be nice and organised. One notebook for each subject – just having a general notebook will make finding a certain lecture incredibly hard.

You should also be nice and clear with labelling. At the start of each lecture write down the date and the topic which will be covered.

If you can write information down quickly, accurately and neatly then great. If not then it may be a good idea to type up your notes later (and even if you are neat it’s still a good idea). Make sure you type them up ASAP while you still understand and remember what was said. You should be going over what’s been said in a seminar anyway – typing up notes can be a great way of doing this. It can help you remember and learn the facts law.

You can even do a little bit of extra reading to flesh out your notes. This will earn you a high five from your future self who is about to start exam revision.

Try and explain the concepts in as much detail as possible, but still keep it simple. This will stop you from having to completely relearn a subject.

What should the structure of the notes be like?

As stated above notes should’t just be a jumble of words. Whatever you write down, you should know where it fits into the legal area by looking at your notes. Having good headings will help you out but in your margin you should write keywords. These keywords will help you when reading the notes back later. Let’s say for example you’re at a contract lecture about consideration. Consideration would be your heading, but when you were talking about past consideration you could put that in the margin. So use the margin to pinpoint the legal area.

A crucial skill is being able to tell the important material apart from the waffle. A lecturer may drop a strong hint about what’s in the exam or they may summarise a legal area really well. It’s essential you write these bits down. But they may also tell you a story from when they were in practice, or mention points which although could be interesting, won’t come up in an exam.

You don’t need to write everything down, nor should you. Get the essence of what is said. The lecture should have at least some structure to it, so just follow the structure and paraphrase. Imagine you’re explaining it to your later self. You can’t just write down several words to explain a topic and think “Oh I’ll know what I mean; it’s simple”. With all the law crammed into your brain it’s not always that easy. Think long term!

Using technology

Using a recording device or your laptop in lectures could also be a great idea. If you’ve got a good recording device it’s a very attractive option. I mean… you don’t need to do any writing! What more do I need to say? However I did find writing stuff down actually helped me learn it and process it as the lecture continued. Not using a recoding devices also forces you to pay attention. It’s easy to get an attitude of “oh well the recorder will get everything so I’ll just look out of the window and think about Batman”.

If your typing speed is decent then writing your notes on a laptop is a really good idea. Typing can potentially be much faster than writing, so you can write a little bit more of what’s said. You can go back and correct typos / add more detail later. This also means you save time when coming to type up your notes – most of the work is done already!

Note taking can be done so in so many way. The above is just one example of a method that could work for you.

What’s your note taking process like? Tell us!

Part 2 on seminar preperation.

Part 3 on answer writing.

How Many Hours Will I Need to Put Into Studying Law Each Week? [Quiz]

Just how much time will you need to dedicate to your legal studies? Take our quiz for a rough (and not at all accurate!) guide for the work load during a law degree.
[oatmeal_quiz id=4]

Chances of Obtaining a Training Contract [Quiz]

changes of getting a training contract

The percentage of students with training contracts is pretty low right now. So a quick, fun and not at all accurate quiz showing your changes of getting a training contract is just what we need! See what your chances are & share with others! Just answer these seven simple questions…

[oatmeal_quiz id=1]

Made by

More quizzes:

How many hours do I need to study each week?

Google Alerts; An Untapped Method for Finding Training Contract Vacancies

I’ve mentioned how useful Google Alerts is before but I want to go into a little bit more detail and explain how exactly it can be used to find new training contract vacancies. You can also use it to find vacation scheme vacancies, get notified about the latest news from a particular firm or find other legal opportunities in your local area. It’s really easy to set up and so underused.

Essentially you will get an email when when Google detects new content about a pre defined topic. But you can use a load of search parameters so you can get some really specific results emailed right to you. Let’s see how.

Using alerts

As I said, it’s very simple to set up. But lets go through it anyway. First go to Google Alerts, you should be greeted by the following page:

In the search query box you will type what you want to be notified about. This will be explained in detail below. In the result type box you can specify the sort of content that you want to receive.  For example news, blogs, web pages, discussions (forums), we recommend keeping it set as “everything”.

Next you can specify how often you are notified. This is completely up to you. Once a day is a good amount – if your search query is very broad this will stop you getting a flood of updates in your inbox throughout the day.

After that you may specify the quality of the results. Since the typical firm will have a high quality websites you can leave it at “Only the best results”. But if you want to make sure no opportunities slip through the cracks then you can set it to “All results”.

“Email” is self explanatory, if you’re signed in with Gmail your address will already be filled. Now click on “Create Alert” and you’re done. Alerts will take you to a page where you can view & edit all of your current Alerts.

Don’t worry if you’re not receiving alerts straight away. If your search terms are narrow then you might only receive one alert per month.

Finding training contract vacancies as soon as they become available

As we all know finding a training contract can be some what of a numbers game. We need to keep applying until we’re successful. The great thing about being notified is that it should be a new opening, and therefore there shouldn’t be as many people applying. This statistically increases your chances of getting a placement.

So what do we need to put in the search query box?

Obviously we need to start with “Training Contract” but we need to get more specific than that. Take a look at the following search query:

“training contract” “london” -jobs

This should find all new training contract vacancies in London. I included “-jobs” so it so you don’t get job websites or recruitment agencies. The term “jobs” doesn’t usually occur on law firm recruitment pages. Not all of the alerts you get will be for new vacancies, but if you find you’re continuously getting alerts from an irrelevant site you can edit the search term and add “-the site you don’t want included” to the end.  You can obviously chance “London” to suit your location. You can further tweak the search parameter by adding “commercial” or “family” in front of the current query to increase the relevance of the alerts.

Other uses

If you want to find out about new vacation schemes in Birmingham try this:

“vacation scheme” “birmingham” -jobs

Or for a new paralegal role at a firm in Manchester the following would be suitable:

paralegal vacancy “manchester” -jobs

If you have an interview coming up, and know quite a while in advance, it may be a good idea to keep tabs on the firm. Use this simple search term:

“Firm Name”

Remember to get all the variations in there like Firm Name LLP or Abbreviated Firm Name. This way if the firm releases some important news or information before your interview, you’re sure to know. Note – If you’re already working at a firm this is a great way to keep track of your competitors.

If you want to know about all vacancies then remove “-jobs”. This will give you results from jobs websites & recruitment agencies.

Just add the relevant terms to Alerts. You need to create a new alert for every new search query you want to be notified of. Then you just need to play the waiting game.

You can also use the above terms in a normal Google search when looking for pre existing opportunities.

The waiting game with interviews…

The legal world is a waiting game.

You wait to hear back from applications you’ve made, you wait to hear back from interviews you’ve been to and you wait to start your training contract (in the majority of cases, unless there is an immediate start for a lucky few!)

When I was in my final three months of my internship in New York I started making applications as I wanted to secure a job for when I returned home. I updated the CV, refreshed my covering letters and tailored them to whomever I was applying to.

One thing about me: I really believe that technology and technological mediums are the way forward. I applied to a worldwide innovative technology company for a paralegal position and obtained a Skype interview with them. It made me feel like I was making a move forward in some ways: 1) that a major corporation potentially wanted to employ me and 2) that they were happy to interview me via Skype and not in person. I waited three weeks for a response and was told that I would not be advancing to the next round because another candidate had more experience and was available at lesser notice [*sad face*]… However, the company told me to get in touch when I returned to the UK and that there may be another role at the company available to me, however it would be non-legal….I weighed up my options and decided to go for the interview, I figured at least I could meet those who Skype interviewed me in person, as it never hurts to network! With the role being non-legal though I had some doubts as I had undertaken the internship so my chances in the legal world would be greater rather than branching away from law. Needless to say I chose not to take this position (but to my advantage as I had greater things, more suited to my experience, to come my way!)

Ultimately, what I want you to take away from this post is to:

  • Be patient;
  • Be flexible;
  • Be confident;
  • Network your butt off!
  • Take rejection as a stepping stone to learn and grow from your mistakes;
  • Analyse the interviews you’ve had, always think how you could have answered the questions better;
  • Don’t script your answers, be real in the interview and don’t pretend to be someone you’re not;
  • Remember that sometimes it’s not you, it’s the company;
  • Never underestimate your competition;
  • And always remember that if you are called to interview that the company like you on paper, you need to prove to them you’re the right fit in person.

Currently, I’m waiting again. I interviewed with a small firm in Central London three weeks ago and was told not to be concerned if I didn’t hear back from the firm for 1-2 weeks for a second interview. But coming up to three weeks now I’m getting concerned! Questions such as, ‘Should I contact them? Maybe I interviewed terribly? Was I not enthusiastic enough? Were the other candidates better than me?’ all cross my mind, but you have to put them to rest. You need to have the confidence in yourself to believe in yourself. If you can’t believe then how can a potential employer believe in you?? I’ve never wanted to work for a company more than this firm, I think they are fantastic but what’s done is done. Hopefully I purveyed my enthusiasm for the position and all I can do now is cross my fingers. I have my fingers crossed for all of you as well!


All things work experience

Work experience can and does play a vital part in a law student’s passage into the legal profession. With more and more young people choosing to read law, this experience can be essential, not only to future employers, or when trying to obtain that ever elusive training contract, but it really is the quintessential thing that you’ll do to decide whether a career in law is for you.

Employers are increasingly looking for those candidates who stand out, not just academically, but have something else to offer. Work experience at a law firm goes a long way into proving that you’re dedicated to the profession, and it makes you more of a desirable candidate.

During my final month or so in Germany, I emailed numerous law firms within my local town asking for work experience and was fortunate enough to secure a placement. I cannot count the amount of emails that I sent out, but don’t let that put you off. There is some advice here; be PERSISTENT. Send emails until you’re sick of doing so, and then send some more!

With the economic climate the way it currently is, don’t be surprised if you find yourself getting lucky. I know I certainly was. At the end of the day, what we sometimes forget in our excitement of studying law is that law firms are businesses, and will no doubt be grateful for the unpaid labour you’re providing (this may sound off-putting, but it isn’t, and I’ll explain why a little later).

For the past three weeks my days have been spent here, at Garner Canning Solicitors Ltd.

The firm itself has four main offices, spread throughout the Midlands area, so it’s not a typical one-office small town firm at all. There are a number of areas that the law firm deals with, such as New Homes, Family, Conveyancing, Wills and Probates and Employment Law. Whilst on my placement, I was placed in New Homes. Essentially what this entails is the buying of a new property on behalf of the client(s) and going through the process of registering the property at Land Registry, carrying out required searches, securing mortgages and so on.

I could now bore you to death and give you a detailed account of every little thing that I did, day in day out, but that’s completely unnecessary as I’m sure many of you will have done this, or will go on to do it in the near future. What I will tell you that working in New Homes requires a lot of paperwork, and I mean A LOT. The first thing I noticed when walking into the office where I‘d be working was the sheer amount of files. Now I always knew that being a lawyer meant paperwork, but surely not that much!

Two weeks into the placement and everything was going swimmingly well. I’d gotten on with every task that had been assigned to me, asked questions when curious about areas of the law, and generally felt that I was as professional as I could be. More than that, I felt like I was genuinely learning about New Homes, Land Law and Conveyancing as well, and general day to day goings on in a firm.

Towards the end of the second week, much to my surprise my boss calls me into the office and asks whether I would be willing to stay on another week in addition to the two weeks we’d previously agreed upon. Now, as much as this sounds like me blowing my own trumpet, you cannot imagine the feeling when a professional in this business tells you that you’ve been such a fantastic and brilliant worker over the last two weeks that he wants you to stay for longer. The speed at which I’d gotten through the backlog of files, my own professionalism and high work rate paid off, and in doing so made me feel a valued and integral part of the team. When this happens, the fact that you’re unpaid disappears and you take pride in a job well done.

When I was younger, the dream was to be a big shot lawyer, in a big international law firm, but as I’m now older and much more mature my perspective has certainly altered and probably for the better. Working in a law firm such as Garner Canning, even for just three weeks, has given me a taste of what I see myself doing in the future.

Do I love studying law? Yes. Do I love studying it enough to commit myself to a firm where I have no life outside of the office? No. The priority for me has now changed, and it has become about the work life balance. Working at a firm 9-5 (well, roughly 9-5) and having the chance to go home of an evening and leave work behind at the office is now something I dream of.

I’m going to end this post by returning to my original thought. Work experience is something that every law student should do for a variety of reasons:

• It gives you such a great opportunity to learn the practical application of the law which you are studying
• It reaffirms your desire to work in this business
• It shows employers that you are serious about a career in law
• You get to network with a wide range of lawyers and solicitors and;
• You have a great time doing it, especially when your praises get sung (to a senior partner nonetheless) and you get that glowing reference for your C.V.

I had a thoroughly enjoyable three weeks working at Garner Canning, and can’t wait to head back there for my next stint over Christmas!

The First Post… My Search for a Training Contract

And here it is, the first post of what I hope will be an informative journey along with me whilst I search for a training contract.

A little about me:

Well, you already know I want to qualify as a solicitor but what you don’t know is that I graduated in 2007 from Kent University and completed the Legal Practice Course in 2008. It’s been four going on five years since I finished the LPC and still there is no training contract in sight for me. Many of my friends have qualified and many have found alternative employment in various areas such as recruitment and management consulting, but I don’t want to change my mind about law.

I’ve been working as a Paralegal in the meantime, currently working for LexisNexis and am awed to be surrounded by so many intelligent people. My colleagues are mainly all qualified solicitors who are driven by efficiency and a need to modernise the legal profession and I enjoy being at the forefront of this. (For a alternative view see Mark’s post here.)

I’ve also spent time working and studying abroad. I took part in a year long internship moving to New York and working on Fifth Avenue for a litigation law firm. This has to be the highlight of my career thus far, the experience I gained may have been in a different legal system but litigation skills are highly transferable. I also gained academics and topped up my knowledge by studying for a Post-Graduate Certificate in International Business in which I got a distinction.

Before this opportunity came along I was working for a legal publishing company in London Bridge where I stayed for almost three years. I felt I was lucky to have a job in the economic climate the country was facing and I always believed it was better to have a job than no job. But I didn’t just stay idle, I managed to gain a vacation scheme for three weeks and also took one day a week off work and volunteered at the Citizens Advice Bureau as a Gateway Assessor. And even before this, I started my first legal job at 15 and since then I’ve shadowed judges in the District court (which was arranged through my University), I wrote to the Crown Prosecution Service and set up work experience with them, I’ve worked for a Magic Circle firm and also a large investment bank as a paralegal.

But still no training contract…

Sometimes I do feel disheartened, as everyone does when facing a pile of rejection letters, but the rejection makes you a stronger person. Whatever reasons are given for you not being offered a position, it probably wouldn’t have been the right place for you anyway. Keep applying, and keep things interesting on your CV! The amount of interest I’ve had in my CV since I returned in March from working abroad, has been astounding and these might not necessarily lead to being handed the job but on many occasions it gets me an interview.

I believe all of my work experience has rounded me into an individual capable of taking on any work that is passed my way. I thrive when learning about new areas of law, I do my research thoroughly and most of all…I enjoy it! Seriously, do not underestimate the power of work experience, however mundane or monotonous it may be, just think about how amazing it will look on your CV.  It’s still my dream to qualify and I can feel that I am so close and in the meantime I’ve gained a ton of experience which will only help me when I take on my training contract.


My Experience Working as a Volunteer Adviser at the CAB

Volunteering in the Citizens Advice Bureau really taught me something important. The value of soft skills. My law degree helped when it came to understanding some of the areas I was advising on. But the giving of advice was actually the easy part if you got everything else right. I went into the job thinking the exact opposite – that the work would be like answering a set of problem questions. Only with real people. I was wrong.

The job

The actual name of my role at the CAB was “Gateway Assessor”. It was my job to take calls from members of the public and either give them general advice or take their details & refer them to the relevant adviser. Everything depended on the nature of the problem the client had.

You got general non legal enquiries like “There are bees in my garden when should I do?”. This isn’t even a joke, someone genuinely asked this. I gave them the council pest control number! These are the sort of issues you can deal with there and then over the phone. More common questions in this category are people asking for general advice on a certain subject, or people asking for a definition like “What exactly is a guarantor?”. For the non bee related questions you usually end up researching the issue on Advice Guide (the CAB information website) and then explaining the information to the client.

A lot of these simple questions could evolve into something much more complex during the conversation with the client. For example the client could just want some simple advice on budgeting, but then could go on to say that they’ve received a letter from a company stating that they will be starting legal action due to debts owed. Now in this situation it becomes obvious that the client needs more specialist help. Although I could educate them a little bit more on the matter by directing them to Advice Guide, they would probably need to see a face to face advisor. So the task then turns to questioning and writing case notes.

You need to get everything out of the client that you believe will help the specialist adviser. Much of this is common sense. In a debt issue you would ask how much money was owed, who it was owed to, if they’re employed, how much income they have etc. But you also need to know what they’re not telling you. The debts they’ve mentioned could just be the tip of the iceberg, or there could be a relationship breakdown behind the debt issue. This would then branch out into its own separate problem. But if you don’t know about it, you can’t help the client. I think people don’t like to mention all of their problems because they think you’ll be over burdened, or maybe they are just trying to deal with things one at a time. This isn’t the right thing to do – time may be an issue. Especially when it comes to appeals.

Regardless of the complexity of the issue we tried to take down a few details from each client. This is so the CAB can justify their funding and essentially say “Look – we helped all these people in January”. Briefly recording case notes on even the simple calls can perhaps help secure future funding.

What I found hard about the job

Being a man I’m awful at multi tasking so I found talking to the client, taking their information down, and researching their problem all at the same time a real challenge.

The hardest part was dealing with people who had lost loved ones and on top of that had various legal issues they needed to sort out. It really is heartbreaking to tell a father he couldn’t claim funeral expenses because his son was no longer classified as a child.

Another sort of challenge was dealing with the emotions of a client. They need to be in a calm state so they’re able to talk to you. Obviously if they’re very upset or angry then you need to calm them down. It took a while to get comfortable at doing this. I’m really not good at comforting people – I do ok when comforting friends and family by dishing out a few hugs / bottles of whisky. Unfortunately this isn’t possible over the phone. For people who were angry or upset I usually started by acknowledging their emotion; “Yes I can understand why you’re so angry / upset” and then going on to reassure them that the Citizens Advice Bureau would do everything in its power to help them. You just need to remember that the anger isn’t directed at you.

When we come across problem questions at uni they are set out in a nice, logical and structured way. Unfortunately when you’re being told about a problem it’s very unstructured. This makes sense really – especially when someone is telling you about a complex problem. It’s remarkable just how unstructured verbal communication can be when you have a ton of points to communicate. So at first, when writing the case notes, it was very hard to put together the whole problem in an easy to read way. Especially when you’d not had experience doing it before.

What I enjoyed

In a way I enjoyed doing the things I found hard because I was improving my skills and being challenged. For example it felt good to make sense of an incredibly complex debt problem and type it up into crystal clear case notes.

The work was very diverse too, as soon as the phone started ringing you didn’t know what the caller would want. It could be about benefits, housing, a consumer issue, a relationship breakdown, debt or any number of miscellaneous questions.

It was really nice hearing how much of a difference the information I’d given could make. Many people were really happy finding out they could claim the winter fuel payment or some other sort of benefit they were entitled to.

Many of these people were facing hard times too. So even a small amount of extra income every month can make a massive difference.

Even though gateway assessors don’t directly get involved in helping a client after the initial phone contact, it’s nice to know that you play your part in the whole process. A process which could have a massive impact on a persons life.

It’s also nice to know that you’re actually doing legal work which has an impact on real people. After you’ve spent all this time on your legal training putting it into practice for the first time feels great!

A valuable experience

Now obviously working at the CAB isn’t the same as working for a firm. But the skill you need will be similar. Whenever I hear people saying that they want to work in law I always wonder how much their expectations differ to reality. I know mine did. Working at the CAB really demonstrated to me the value of long term experience. Experience in a role where you have responsibility – rather than just shadowing.

While legal knowledge is very important the soft skills need to be there too, as without them you can’t properly put the legal knowledge to good use. Before I worked at the CAB I didn’t understand this – I thought of soft skills and legal knowledge as two very separate and distinct entities.

Working at the CAB was a great way to build these soft skills and I would fully recommend volunteering to anyone who is interested in a career in law, or just wants to help out. It should give you a good taste of what’s to come in a legal career and boost your client interaction skills tenfold. Hopefully this post has given you a rough idea of what it’s like to be a gateway assessor. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments!

Note: Some details changed to further preserve anonymity, although the essence of the facts remain. No specific clients are referenced – these are just general experiences.