In the first of a series of blogs looking back at their traineeship, John Morgan reflects on the highs and lows…
Talk us through your traineeship?
My first seat was in our banking team, which was an excellent introduction to the mechanics of the firm and the importance of several key skills such as legal drafting, correspondence, and research.
I then moved on to our employment team for my second seat, which I enjoyed so much that I was permitted to stay there for my third seat too! This has been a great way to gain deeper experience which trainees sometimes don’t get within a 6 or 8 month seat.
I’ve been very lucky throughout to work with some great mentors, who really put time and effort into training me up.
What’s been the high point of your traineeship?
There have been heaps of high points to be very honest. I’ve loved about 99% of the traineeship, which is much more than I have a right to! I’ve travelled to foreign countries representing the firm, have attended meetings with some of Scotland’s most inspiring entrepreneurs, and played a (small) part in helping some great clients with some very exciting ventures.
If I were to pick just one, it would be being offered the chance to stay with the employment team, as it was proof that all of the blood, sweat and tears hadn’t been in vain!
What’s been the low point, if any?
In my third week at the firm I thought I had mastered the charge registration process at Companies House. I hadn’t.
What was your first day like?
The first day in the team was just a little bit of a blur. It took me quite some time to remember anyone’s name, I couldn’t work the PC, and for the first week I was so reluctant to admit any ignorance that I didn’t discover where the kitchen was until the Friday. Fortunately, after that I quickly settled in!
Any amusing or strange moments?
The strangest moment was being sent to a last minute completion meeting just before 5pm at another law firm’s offices and being shown into the wrong room by their receptionist. She proceeded to forget to tell their lawyers where I was and then headed home for the evening. I had to break down their door, which they were actually very understanding about!
I was delighted to accept a position with the employment team as a qualified solicitor. They aren’t letting me rest on my laurels though – I’m being sent out on secondment to one of our major financial services clients almost immediately!
I’m really looking forward to this as it’s within a specialised employment law team, so I’ll get to witness the day-to-day life of an in house employment solicitor, as well as learn lots about the processes and influences on the client’s business.
What advice would you give to a future trainee or applicant?
Don’t say no to any opportunity or task. Even if you feel like saying no, give a qualified acceptance such as “Yes, but only if you help me with…”
Senior lawyers appreciate the honesty, and it forces you to think about how you can contribute to solving a problem that may at first seem insurmountable.
On August 5, 2016