Associate - Education and Public Law - Birmingham

Vacancy ID




Preferred location

Vacancy type

Qualified Lawyer
Apply This will open an external site

What does the role involve?

We are looking for an NQ to join our Education & Public Law team in Birmingham, assisting with delivering a service nationally across all of our offices.Your workload will primarily involve advising clients across a range of public law, litigation and liability matters such as conducting litigation, including breach of contract, judicial review, discrimination and personal data claims and advising universities colleges and other education institutions in connection with student complaints, disputes and claims. You will also be advising on, and conducting litigation concerning, equality and diversity issues (other than employment law obligations), especially in the education sector and advising learned societies and other membership organisations on governance and membership issues, including complaints and disciplinary matters. In addition you will be advising a variety of clients in the education sector on safeguarding vulnerable groups legislation and obligations, drafting and advising on education institutions‘ governance documents, policies and procedures and advise on immigration issues for student sponsors (ie education institutions) You will be advising on existing and new legislation affecting the higher education sector; advising on the application of the freedom of information and data protection legislation, including advising on responding to data subject access requests and complaints to the Information Commissioner and First Tier Tribunal; and supporting the NSL on any contentious matter.A significant proportion of the work will be for clients in the education sector, including universities, further education colleges, academies and related educational bodies, meaning that the context of a lot of the work is the institution/student relationship.You will be based in our Birmingham office and will be expected to travel within the UK (Covid restrictions permitting) to support clients, engage in business development and work collaboratively with colleagues across our six UK offices.The role involves business development and client relationship responsibilities such as building strong client relationships, supporting client relationship manages to deliver outstanding client service and attending internal and external networking events. You will also be contributing to the continued development of the profile of the firm through the writing of articles and blogs for both Mills & Reeve and external publications and supporting the delivery of training and other sessions to clients and prospects.Much of the business development activity you will be asked to engage in will be in the education sector (universities, further education colleges, independent schools and related educational bodies) and learned societies.

The Person

You will be at NQ+ years PQE (solicitor or barrister) with experience in conducting litigation. Ideally, you will have experience in some of the legal areas listed above, but experience of the education sector is not essential.  However, relevant or similar experience will be helpful.Good academics (eg 2.1 degree or equivalent with good A levels or equivalent) are required.  You will have experience of conducting litigation.   You will have excellent written English and ability to produce clear, logical drafting and have attention to detail.  Also required are excellent communication, interpersonal and team skills, including ability to work with others, influence and persuade.  You will be able to build and strengthen relationships with clients and potential clients.In addition to IT, research (including an ability to use online information sources), negotiating, and lateral thinking and problem solving skills, you will have effective time and matter paper management skills with a systematic approach to work. You will have drive and commitment to see a job throughExperience of public law and/or working for HE or FE clients, marketing skills, advocacy and other public speaking, are desirable skills but not essential.

Who will I be working with?

You will be working with Richard Sykes, partner, and Helen Tringham to whom you will report on a day to day basis. You will also work with Gary Attle (Head of Education & Governance).  The team is part of the cross- office Regulatory Public and Commercial Disputes NSL headed up by partner, Jamie Wheatley.

Disclosure and barring service check

This post is also subject to a satisfactory response from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to check for any previous criminal convictions.
Apply This will open an external site


As you would expect, the firm offers a generous salary and benefits. Everyone has different priorities and preferences, so at Mills & Reeve you can choose the benefits that appeal to you. From buying holiday and undergoing health screening to leasing a bicycle – the choice is yours.

Our core benefits are:

  • Equal all staff bonus based on the firm’s financial performance
  • Generous pension including the option to salary sacrifice
  • Five weeks' annual leave and the option to buy or sell a week each year
  • Extra day of leave for wedding/civil partnership, religious holiday and house moving
  • Bonus week leave every 11th year of continuous service
  • Enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption pay
  • Income protection after two years’ service
  • Life assurance with the choice of covering between two and 10 times annual basic salary
  • Confidential employee assistance programme providing guidance on every day issues to more complex matters and both telephone and face to face counselling.

More information can be found here.


The firm

What really sets Mills & Reeve apart from other law firms is the way we work with our clients. We understand that clients, in the 21st century, no longer want a traditional law firm – they want one that embraces forward thinking approaches to service, billing, commercial know-how, innovation, people management and community engagement. 

Pre-employment screening

Please note that, in the event that we make an offer of employment, we will conduct pre-employment screening that includes checks relating to your professional and academic qualifications, references from previous employers, your eligibility to work in the UK and any disciplinary history recorded with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). You will also be required to complete a self-declaration to assess your character and suitability

And finally

Mills & Reeve is committed to building a diverse workforce and fostering an inclusive environment in which all our people can thrive. We hire people from a wide variety of backgrounds because it makes our firm stronger, and we have a collaborative culture that celebrates different perspectives and values respect for one another, working together, and openness and integrity. Our approach to flexible working means that we work in a way that achieves the right balance for our people, our clients and for our business.

The launch of the Mills & Reeve BAME and Allies Network
Mills & Reeve interviewed nearly 100 clients asking what they wanted from their law firm. Claire Clarke talks about the results and how it is shaping our 2025 strategy.
Mills & Reeve Sites navigation
A tabbed collection of Mills & Reeve sites.
My Mills & Reeve navigation
Subscribe to, or manage your My Mills & Reeve account.
My M&R


Register for My M&R to stay up-to-date with legal news and events, create brochures and bookmark pages.

Existing clients

Log in to your client extranet for free matter information, know-how and documents.


Mills & Reeve system for employees.