I am now half way through my combined seat of residential conveyancing and family. This combination is providing me with experience of such a wide variety of work. I have dealt with a number of sales and purchases from start to finish and have been fortunate enough to be heavily involved in family court proceedings where I have sat behind counsel for a long fact finding hearing. Both departments have allowed me to become a main contact for the clients and I have plenty of face to face contact with the clients.
The importance of managing expectations
One of the most important lessons I have learnt so far in my training contract is that clients like their solicitor to communicate with them as much as possible, even if this simply means letting them know you cannot deal with something now but will get back to them. When possible clients must be kept up to date with what is happening.
Anticipating clients' future needs
All clients are asked to provide feedback at the end of their matter and this is extremely important in our training (and on qualification) to know how clients view us and the service we have provided them with. From this I have been made more aware of the need to inform clients about other services that the firm can offer and be conscious of the fact that clients may need to use a solicitor for any number of reasons in the future and you want them to think of your firm first.
Away from the office, I recently attended the PSC Advocacy course. This was actually a lot of fun. It was an intense three days and did involve a lot of work, but the adrenaline rush of cross-examining in a trial was enjoyable. I have now completed all the compulsory parts of the PSC so have my elective courses to choose.
The confidence gained during the advocacy course is going to be invaluable during the pantomime that the trainees are performing at Woodfines’ Christmas party! Everything is top secret at the minute, but we hope to put on an entertaining performance for the firm next week!