From Bedford to Cambridge

It’s September already; summer is fast drawing to a close, the kids are back to school (meaning the roads are busy again!) and it’s time for the next six-month seat change. I owe a big thank you to the Litigation team and my supervisor in that seat, for teaching me so much over the last six months. It’s very busy, but great fun.

This time a year ago I was just starting out in my first seat as a trainee solicitor at Woodfines in the firm’s Milton Keynes office. Alice Wooler was starting out in Sandy and Nick Conway in Bedford. Now, a year later, it’s time for the new intake of trainees to join us. Congratulations to Sarah Keens and Will Padmore, our new joiners who had their induction and training last week and are now commencing their first seats in the firm’s Bedford and Cambridge offices respectively. Sarah will be taking my place in Litigation while Will is joining the Crime and Regulatory team.

As for me, I will be swapping Woodfines Bedford for Woodfines Cambridge to embark on seat number three in the Private Client department. My first challenge will be getting to know the roads between the two offices well enough to try to avoid the traffic! I have been trying to familiarise myself with the different routes available on Google Maps but if all else fails I will fall back on the safety net of the sat nav, at least until I’ve done the journey a few times and won’t get lost.

The second challenge, once I get to Cambridge, will be getting used to a new office, new faces and a new area of law. I have said before that starting out in a new department can be a little daunting for a trainee at first, but it is always rewarding once you find your feet. I was recently discussing the idea of training contracts with a friend of mine who works in a different industry, and he said it sounded like a really good way to train an apprentice before they start life as a practitioner, and I agree. These two years are a great opportunity to be able to get a flavour for the law by spending time in four different practice areas before qualifying. It allows you to find out what you enjoy and what you’re good at, safe in the knowledge that you have a trusty supervisor to keep an eye on you and help you along. The more diverse the seats, the better the impression you will form as a trainee of what you want to do when you approach the end of your fourth seat.

I am still undecided to an extent about the kind of lawyer I want to be; of course I have an idea as to what I would like to qualify into, but I still have six months in Private Client and a further six months in another department before then, to decide. Given how much I’ve learned in the last twelve months alone I know that there’s a lot more in store over the next twelve, and I have no doubt that come this time next year I will know exactly where I’m supposed to be.

So until my next entry when I report on my time in Private Client there’s nothing else to say but: goodbye summer in Bedford, hello winter in Cambridge, and a very warm welcome to the new trainees!

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