Darlington law firm Latimer Hinks has announced that local girl Natalie Walker has qualified as a solicitor. Following the completion of a Business and Legal Studies degree at the University of Sunderland, Natalie advertised herself in the Law Society Gazette. She was contacted by Latimer Hinks and joined the firm as a Legal Executive. In 2002 she was offered a years internship at leading New York-based solicitors, Proskauer Rose and took a year out to experience life on the other side of the Atlantic. On her return from New York, Natalie spent two years undertaking the Common Professional Examination (CPE), which is a law conversion course enabling graduates in disciplines other than law, to complete the academic stage of legal training. She then continued with her distance learning and spent two years completing the Legal Practice Course before qualifying as a solicitor. Natalie works in the Private Client department at Latimer Hinks, specialising in wills and probate work. Natalie said: Although I have taken a roundabout route it is fantastic to have finally qualified as a solicitor. Everyone at Latimer Hinks has been very supportive, particularly in allowing me to take a year out for the amazing New York experience. I am now looking forward to progressing my career here in Darlington. Anne Elliott, partner at Latimer Hinks said: Natalie is a talented young solicitor who has impressed with her dedication. We are very pleased that she has qualified and she will be a valuable asset to the Private Client department.