"I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now…" Looking back, there are definitely things that it would have been useful to know at the beginning of my legal career, which I know now and have learned through experience. I have outlined below some pointers, which will hopefully assist you in your legal traineeship and beyond.

1. Don't be afraid to ask questions! Questions are expected - you are a trainee, so not expected to know everything on day one. Use your own initiative, but remember you are here to learn (and we are here to teach you!)

2. Also, don't be afraid if an area of law you enjoyed at University does not translate in practice. Be open minded and willing to be surprised – you may find yourself enjoying a particular seat much more than you expected!

3. Always think of the "bigger picture" and adopt a commercial approach. It can be easy to become engrossed in the work you are doing, but take a step back to think why a particular course of action is being taken by the client/parties involved – and what commercial drivers are most important for them and their business.

4. Organisation is key – you will undertake a lot of interesting work for many different clients and colleagues. While you may not have all of the experience and knowledge at the outset of your traineeship, you can show your ability to prioritise and organise effectively to ensure nothing is missed. Close attention to detail will impress and stand you on good stead.

5. Socialise – get to know your colleagues and fellow trainees, and attend social events where you can. Your fellow trainees are in the same position as you, and you will likely become great friends!

Applications for Brodies 2022 summer student placements are now open.


Paul Breen

Senior Associate