Traineeships

Brodies’ second year trainees are now halfway through their second seat. Time flies! It can be hard to know what goes on day-to-day in the office, and how different it might be to studying law academically, so I thought I would give you a peek into the life of a contentious construction trainee…

8:45am – I make myself a coffee and start up my computer. A couple of emails have come in about party’s availability for a mediation I am setting up. I reply and take a note of their availability; it looks like we might have to postpone the mediation for a month as everyone is on holiday!

9:00am – First thing on my to do list is to call counsel’s clerk. We have a procedural hearing in a couple of weeks and our regular counsel in this case is unable to attend. Once I confirm that our alternative counsel is available I start drafting a letter of instruction. This gives counsel a detailed background on the facts of the case and the procedure so far. Once I’ve finished I pass the draft to my supervising solicitor who will check it and let me know what changes are required.

10:30am – A colleague has asked me to draft a motion to have the case restored to the adjustment roll. I quickly check the rules and start drafting the motion. I send an email to the other side to confirm if the motion will be opposed. They consent to the motion which is sent to the court to be enrolled.

11:00am – Next on my list is some research on a recent case that will be useful for a meeting one of the partners in my team has later in the week. Having never studied construction law before there has been a very steep learning curve. I enjoy getting involved in research tasks as they are a good way to learn more about construction law and help colleagues prep for client meetings.

1:00pm – Lunch time! We have a kitchen area in the office with comfy seats and tables. I meet one of the other trainees there and we chat about our weekend plans and how our day has been so far.

2:00pm – I finalise my research note and send it on to the partner for review.

2:30pm – An email comes in containing submissions from the other side in an adjudication we are doing. Construction law has a number of quirks and adjudication is an alternative dispute resolution procedure specific to construction. The process is very quick, taking only 28 days from beginning to end. I’ve had the opportunity to get involved in quite a few adjudications during my time in the department from researching a particular legal point, preparing documents, drafting submissions and liaising with the client. I read through the submissions thinking about how we are going to respond and any legal points I will need to research. We have a conference call with the client tomorrow so I make a list of questions and any additional information we will need from them.

4:15pm – I get the draft letter of instruction to counsel back from my supervising solicitor. Not too much red pen, phew! We run through the draft together and my supervisor explains the changes and gives me some useful feedback on the letter. I make the changes and start preparing the bundle of papers to be sent with the letter of instruction.

5:00pm – It’s not all hard work and every week we have a yoga class in the office. It’s a great way to relax after a long day and catch up with colleagues!

6:00pm – back at my desk I discuss our plan for tomorrow’s conference call with my supervisor and think about our plan of action. The last thing I do is plan my to do list for tomorrow to make sure I don’t forget anything and head home…