Although I am approaching the end of only my second full week at Brodies, I’ve packed in so many experiences it feels like I’ve been here for two months – maybe more.

Between the IT systems, getting used to working in an office and, of course, my job as a trainee, it is little wonder that I haven’t had time to count the days as they have flown past. But as they say, time flies when you are having fun and as I say, or as I might start saying from now on, fun can be had from learning new things. I will iron that one out to make it catchier.

The main thing that has struck me during my short time here has been that I can’t get through half an hour of the day without learning something new – every day of your first few weeks really is a school day at Brodies.

A picture of a start here signI have been fortunate enough to be part of a team where my colleagues are happy to guide me and, more importantly, have involved me in a lot of interesting work.

It has been particularly interesting learning how to work with other solicitors and clients. To be given the opportunity to correspond with other people in the profession and our clients from such an early stage has been brilliant. Although I am unable to comment on how trainees are utilised elsewhere, at Brodies there is a clear idea that the trainees have earned their place and can be trusted to be involved in transactions.

I also have the opportunity to apply and develop the skills I honed at university on a daily basis. University and practice, I am finding, can often be chalk and cheese. It’s now clear to me that the basic skills law students are equipped with at university are at the root of everything that happens in practice. What a new trainee has to do is to develop the commercial and business acumen which sits on top of those basic skills – this is a challenge, but one that I am relishing.

When I applied to Brodies I was keen to show that I appreciated that, despite graduating from university, my education won’t stop. Not only is the traineeship (PEAT 2) a continuation of the work undertaken on the Diploma (PEAT 1); it also marks the start of a career where keeping up to date with legal and business developments is paramount to giving the best service to clients.

My advice to anyone thinking of applying for a traineeship with Brodies would be to show your potential employer how keen you are to learn and soak things up. Of course this is only a small part of your application, but it is an important part and one which I think is sometimes forgotten.

Good luck with your applications, and if you are reading this with a traineeship already secured then my top tip for when you start is to make sure you have a pad and pen within reach at all times!

Martin Smail

Solicitor at Brodies LLP
Martin is a solicitor in our Banking and Finance team. He advises a variety of lenders and borrowers on a broad range of banking transactions, including project finance, real estate finance and general corporate finance.
Martin Smail