With my new dress hanging up, my hair freshly cut and my new shoes waiting for me at the front door the time had come for me to start as a trainee at Brodies. Well - almost. All that was left was to have a good night's sleep...
Eventually after what felt like the world's longest sleep - waking up almost every hour panicking I was going to miss my train - my alarm went off and this time, it was time to get ready for my first day!
My first day at Brodies felt like I was starting high school all over again. I was excited to be starting my new journey with a law firm that I had wanted to work for since meeting Brodies at the University of Dundee law fair in second year, but I was also incredibly nervous and apprehensive about what was to come. Unlike some of the other trainees, I hadn't done a summer placement and after almost seven years in the public sector, I was moving to the private sector.
But my worries were short lived. When we arrived at Brodies we were greeted by warm faces and quickly made to feel welcome in our new surroundings. There was also a feeling of comfort to see the familiar faces of the new trainees I had met previously and to catch up with the HR team. Before joining Brodies you are given many opportunities to meet your future colleagues and the other trainees. When you do start, there is an induction programme, along with a buddy and mentor scheme, to ease you into your new role - so you are not immediately thrown in at the deep end!
On the morning of my first day, my Dad told me "you show them what you can do - you have got there on merit". "You got there on merit" sums up what I love about Brodies and what first inspired me to apply. At Brodies it doesn't matter if you haven't previously worked in a law firm nor had a summer placement, because the firm is primarily interested in you and the competencies you have. Your skills can come from a range of places including voluntary work, law clinic involvement, university studies or previous work experience.
The competencies that Brodies looks for you to demonstrate are:
- Conduct and communication skills;
- Teamwork and adaptability;
- Self-motivated and driven;
- Prepared, organised and able to prioritise effectively;
- Interpersonal skills; and
- Commercial and profit focused.
If you are reading these blogs and considering whether to apply for a traineeship with Brodies, and you are worried that you haven't done a summer placement - don't be. Whilst a summer placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain practical experience and find out whether a particular law firm is for you, not everyone secures or is able to complete one. .
What I would recommend you do, is take advantage of the opportunities you do have and develop and strengthen your competencies and skills. I would also recommend that you take every opportunity to find out more about Brodies - by attending events such as a university law fair, for example, and coming to speak to people from the firm.
Brodies was recently named the UK Regional Law Firm of the Year at The Lawyer Awards in London, and a traineeship with the firm affords you so many opportunities. You have the opportunity to learn from lawyers who are the best in their industries, work with a variety of clients and gain exposure to vast kinds of work.
I am so glad I went to the Brodies stand at my university law fair and was encouraged to apply. I am a month into my traineeship but already I have been exposed to lots of different things. I feel privileged to be working alongside lawyers who are amongst the best in their fields.
Traineeship applications are open from Monday 22 August 2016 and close midnight on Sunday 9 October 2016.