As I put the finishing touches to this, the first of my posts on the trainee blog, I am sat on a train headed to London for an all-day licensing law seminar. This is just one of the new experiences that I find myself encountering in this exciting new phase of my career.
My road to qualification as a solicitor has been a long and winding one, with many twists and turns (taking in places such as Leicester, Stockholm and Cambridge) and having secured a training contract, probably comes the biggest step yet.
Unlike my fellow new trainee, Sarah, who began blogging about her experiences last week, I am a completely new starter at the firm having spent the last 3 years working for the Office of the Traffic Commissioner. My first seat is with the Crime and Regulatory department in the Cambridge office, under the supervision of Tim Ridyard. Conveniently, my new office is only 5 minutes away from my old office meaning that my commute has not changed.
Whilst Sarah has encountered a new area of law, in an office she is familiar with; I am starting out in a new office, but in a department that is not entirely new to me. Having been made to feel most welcome by all the staff in Cambridge, I have begun the process of getting to grips with the challenges of this seat. Although I am familiar with the Traffic Commissioner’s jurisdiction, I have limited criminal law experience and so am taking every opportunity to get up to speed with the criminal procedure rules and texts such as Wilkinson’s (the bible when it comes to road traffic offences).
Since starting a month ago, I have attended Court, drafted letters and application forms, sat in client meetings and liaised with counsel as well as numerous other tasks. In my first month as a trainee, I have found the range of work to be far broader than what I have previously experienced. On top of all this, I have had opportunities outside of work, including networking events and seminars to attend. Early next week, fellow trainee, Chris Northway and I will be attending the launch of the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity Accumulator Challenge. We are to be given £50 and nearly 3 months to raise as much money as possible, a challenge indeed and one that will no doubt be the subject of a future blog post!