I am now 7 months into my training contract (not that I’m counting!) and during that time I have learnt lots of different ways to ensure that I am making the most of this learning process. Listed below are 5 top tips to making it count:
1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Starting a question with ‘this may be silly but…’ is likely get you a long eye roll, but do not be afraid to ask questions from your supervisor if you need to. Whilst using your initiative is great, do not act naively as this could lead to risky mistakes. This is your golden opportunity to learn and you are not expected to know everything.
2. Register for a junior lawyers programme
And there are so many great ones out there! They are normally free (and morning sessions sometimes come with a free breakfast), with great course materials/information and they can also present you with an opportunity to meet other young legal professionals.
3. Ask for feedback
Your supervisor won’t always have time to do this but I try to sit down with mine to get feedback on a piece of work that was new to me or that I may have particularly struggled with. This is all part of the learning process and will help you to improve in the long run. Don’t take criticism personally and try to learn from your mistakes.
4. Lean on your fellow trainees
Especially the ones that are some way down the road in their training contract. They may have already completed a seat that you’re interested in and can likely impart some pearls of wisdom. More importantly, it is great to have a group of people that are all going through the same thing as you. A training contract is undoubtedly a stressful time but you should be able to enjoy it too!
5. Network, network, network!
This is fundamental part of your career when you qualify, so when you are presented with an opportunity to attend a networking event, snap it up! Whether you go it alone or with another colleague, networking events are great opportunities to build relationships with clients, referrers or other professionals. Having a good network is key to success as as solicitor.