My Trainee Fact File

Trying to put two years worth of memories, highs, lows, experiences, pieces of advice and everything else in between into a short blog post is simply impossible. My training with Woodfines has been thoroughly enjoyable, eye-opening, at times challenging (well, it isn’t supposed to be a walk in the park!) but also extremely rewarding.

So as the ‘days to qualification’ count down on my phone goes into single figures, I thought the best way to condense my journey into a bite-size chunk would be to create a little fact file:

Days trained:                          

508 (minus a few days here and there for holidays etc.)

Offices:                                  

Sandy and Milton Keynes

Training Areas:                       

Seat 1 – Crime and Regulatory

Seat 2 – Commercial Litigation

Seat 3 – Commercial Litigation, Employment and a little bit of Company Commercial

Seat 4 – Company Commercial

Qualification specialism:        

Crime and Regulatory

Most enjoyable moment:

There are many but my favourite is the Christmas party last year when the trainees staged and performed ‘Goldfinger and the Three Bears’ to the whole firm. It makes me smile just thinking about it and was received incredibly well.  

What I would do differently:

I would like to have organised and participated in more charity fund raising events. In relation to the decisions I have made during my training, there is very little, if anything, that I would change.

Essential traits for a trainee:  

Professionalism, a positive “can-do” attitude, ability to work under pressure.

Advice for trainees:                

(1) Take the initiative and be proactive. This isn’t just in relation to clients/cases but also for networking and marketing events (e.g. involvement with local schools).

(2) Deal with feedback positively (even if it is bad) and learn from your mistakes, because you will make them.

(3) Be confident. Show your personality and sense of humour. 

Advice for applicants:            

(1) Don’t be put off by the statistics. If you really want it, you can achieve it.

(2) Get as much law and non-law experience as possible and demonstrate a variety of professional skills in your application.

(3) Ask yourself why you want to apply to a particular firm. If the only answer is “to get a training contract” then your application is unlikely to succeed.

Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to each of my supervisors, Mike Hayward, Andrew Carter and Peter Mount, for their guidance, patience and training; to the secretaries for always being there to turn to and keeping the office running; and to my wife and family for their constant love, support and belief. I dedicate this Oscar to you... sorry, I mean my qualification!

The path to solicitor qualification

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