Starting the Training Contract

Having spent months eagerly awaiting the start of my training contract, it comes as no surprise that these past 2 weeks have flown by. As I’m sure most trainees will experience, the walk through the office doors on your first day will be one of the most exciting and fulfilling experiences of your professional career to date.

My first seat is in the Private Client department based at Woodfines’ Sandy office. Having studied Private Client during my LPC, I was pleased to learn that I would start in an area in which I have some familiarity. I have already been fortunate enough to see a file though from the initial client meeting and the issuing of the preliminary client care letters, to the drafting and execution of the Wills. Whilst the learning curve is steep, the balance between supervision and freedom has allowed me to progress at a challenging, but not unmanageable rate.

Private Client is a naturally sensitive area of law, with clients often seeking advice in this area during particularly vulnerable times of their lives. This environment demands all of a solicitor’s skills in maintaining a balance between professionalism and remaining empathic and understanding toward the client in order to ensure they feel that they are in safe, trustworthy hands. Despite Sandy being one of our smaller offices (though no less busy!), its reputation precedes it – due to this and its community location, it has earned a loyal client base.

This can all seem incredibly daunting at first. However, Woodfines has a strong support system set up for their trainees. We have been nominated a supervisor to work closely with throughout our seat. In addition to this, a mentor system has been set up with monthly meetings to provide a channel for discussion of our progress. The mentor we have been appointed will stay with us for the entirety of our training contract. We are also constantly encouraged to ask questions, it is by far the best way to learn and address any issues we have early on.

However, Woodfines is not all work and no play. Over the last week, I have met up on various occasions with the other trainees and completed a midnight charity walk in aid of the local Sue Ryder hospice, St John’s. Not only has this proved a great opportunity to get to know my colleagues that little bit better, but we also managed to raise lots of money for a great cause.