Tara looks back at the last two years as she qualifies into her new role with the oil and gas team at Brodies.
Walk us through your traineeship.
I’ve been able to experience a mix of transactional and contentious seats during my traineeship enabling me to acquire various skills and knowledge as I embark on my NQ role.
My first seat was in the corporate department in Edinburgh and reinforced my desire to qualify into this type of work. I was able to work on a variety of transactions, for both national and international clients, and the team I worked with were great at getting me involved in all aspects of a transaction.
I moved to Glasgow for my second seat in the real estate department, working primarily on commercial property transactions. I was mainly involved in one big transaction for the duration of my seat, which gave me a real insight into a property sale from start to finish. It was quite similar to the type of transaction that I was used to from my time in the corporate department so allowed me to build on the skills that I had gained from my first seat.
For my final seat, I split my time between the Glasgow and Aberdeen offices to work in the litigation department, mainly working on insurance and health and safety matters. Being on my feet in court most weeks meant that I had to quickly get up to speed with the court rules and allowed me to develop my advocacy skills. I was completely out of my comfort zone appearing in court but it really allowed me to develop skills that I hadn’t had to call on in my previous two seats.
What’s been the high point?
I absolutely loved my corporate seat. As I mentioned in a post last year, I got a real buzz out of completions, sometimes working late into the night to get a deal over the line. I was able to learn so much from my senior colleagues, who really took me under their wing and gave me responsibility to manage various aspects of a transaction, setting me up really well for an NQ role in this area.
What’s been the low point?
Not so much a low point but the part that I found most challenging was uprooting my life from Aberdeen and moving to Edinburgh (and then Glasgow) for the majority of my traineeship. However, being able to experience working in all three of our offices meant that I got a real sense of the firm as a whole, with the added bonus of getting to make lasting friendships with most of my fellow trainees!
What was your first day like?
It felt a little like that first day at secondary school, where everyone looks around nervously thinking about who they’re going to be friends with and not really knowing what to expect from the days and months ahead.
All of the trainees met in Edinburgh for our first day and I remember feeling really at ease knowing that I wasn’t in it alone. I had just moved to Edinburgh that weekend and didn’t know anyone and quickly struck up friendships with my fellow trainees, never having to worry about whether there was anyone to have lunch or coffee with.
What’s next for you?
I’m delighted to be qualifying into the oil and gas team at Brodies.
What advice would you give to future trainees?
Think about what area of law you want to qualify into and speak to firms at university law fairs, colleagues or other contacts in the legal profession about what seats you should do in order to gain the relevant experience to set you up for an NQ role in that area. I knew I wouldn’t be able to undertake a seat in our oil and gas department as it wasn’t an option for my intake year so spoke with the team to find out the best combination of seats that I should try and do so that I was best placed to apply for an NQ role in their team.
If you don’t know yet what you want to qualify into (which many people don’t and it’s nothing to panic about), try and get a varied mix of seats so that when the NQ jobs come out, you have a better idea of what you do or don’t like.
On July 27, 2015