There is now less than a month left until I qualify – a very exciting time in any lawyer’s career. Of course there is always a level of apprehension, as the years of training and development are put into practice for the first time outside of the safety net that comes with trainee status.
Over the course of the last 2 years, I have experienced four different seats of 6 months each; Private Client in our Sandy office, Crime and Regulatory in our Milton Keynes office, Company and Commercial in our Sandy office and Company and Commercial (with elements of Employment and Civil Litigation) in our Cambridge office. Whilst each has provided me with a different experience, there are of course fundamental skills which transfer across each department, including the following:
- Being able to communicate clearly and effectively both with the client and other solicitors;
- Managing client’s expectations;
- Attention to detail; and
However simply being a good solicitor does not stop at the above and like any other industry, business development plays a vital role in the progression of a firm. During my training contact I have had the opportunity to attend various training days, seminars and conferences, as well as arrange various charity and promotional events ranging from charity swimathons, half marathons and obstacle runs, to representing the firm at university workshops and local schools career events.
So, what would my advice be to the trainees starting in September?
- Don’t be afraid of asking questions,
- Learn from your mistakes. Everyone makes them, just try not to repeat them.
- As trainees, we are provided with a brilliant support system – you will have a mentor and a supervisor which means there is always someone who will be able to help if you are unsure. Make the most of this, don’t struggle alone!
- Stay social, make sure you meet up with other trainees/employees and share your experiences. These usually prove to be amusing evenings.
Good luck to anyone beginning their training contract this year.