A high-flyer inspired the next generation of legal eagles at the latest school to join the Young Chamber programme. Matt Lewis, from Coles Miller Solicitors, urged students to gain work and life experience but also enjoy themselves when he spoke at Parkstone Grammar School. The 28-year-old also revealed to students that he was just about to be made a Partner at the firm – the youngest in its history just five years after joining as a trainee solicitor.
Matt’s presentation came as the Sopers Lane school signed up to Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (DCCI) Young Chamber Programme with sponsorship from Coles Miller Solicitors. Matt, who is head of Residential Leasehold Property, said: “The most important factors for you at this stage are hard work and the desire to succeed.” He also urged pupils to ‘go with it and enjoy’ their journey through education and work in building a career.
Matt, who studied in Southampton and Bournemouth at undergraduate and postgraduate level, will lead the Young Chamber Programme for Coles Miller Solicitors. He was accompanied by the firm’s Managing Partner Adrian Cormack and Marketing Manager Sarah Ryan. DCCI chief executive Ian Girling and Young Chamber co-ordinator Will Montgomery also attended along with head teacher Tracy Harris and careers co-ordinator Julia Wilkinson.
Parkstone has become the first school in Poole and the first Grammar to join DCCI’s groundbreaking Young Chamber Programme, which now has 14 members. Tracy said: “We know how hard it can be for local businesses and schools to interact so the Young Chamber Programme offers many great opportunities. It means our students can hear real world stories and about routes into professions. We are very grateful to Coles Miller Solicitors for their sponsorship and are looking forward to developing a very strong relationship.”
Adrian said: “We place great value on our links with the community and wanted to support a school close to our Poole office. “Parkstone Grammar was the perfect choice and the launch event was a great success with intelligent, enthusiastic and engaged students.”
Adrian, who is responsible for training at Coles Miller Solicitors, added: “The Young Chamber launch was the perfect platform to announce Matt’s richly deserved promotion from Associate Solicitor to youngest ever Partner at Coles Miller Solicitors. “I interviewed him six years ago and have seen him qualify, become head of his own department and now be promoted to full Partner. It demonstrates our commitment to staff development and the potential for career progression with the right drive and enthusiasm. Our congratulations to Matt on reaching this milestone.”
Coles Miller Solicitors is a leading law firm with offices in Bournemouth, Poole, Broadstone, Christchurch and Wimborne.
Parkstone Grammar School is a selective girls’ school for 11 to 18 year olds in Poole and the surrounding area.
DCCI, the voice of business in Dorset, has 800 members representing 37,000 employees.
Will said: “Parkstone has become the first Grammar and the first school in Poole to join the Young Chamber Programme. The initiative has already exceeded expectations and is proving inspirational for businesses and schools alike.”
Contact Will to join the programme on 01202 714817 and Will.Montgomery@dcci.co.uk. Follow the Young Chamber Programme on social media under #bridgingthegap.