Poppy Prior, a summer placement student who will be returning to Brodies in 2018 as a trainee solicitor, blogs about her summer with the firm.
The first day of placement is the culmination of many months of preparation - from pre-application research, the application itself and interview, to the eagerly anticipated start of the placement.
Any nerves I had were quickly dispelled on meeting the other summer students. Having all been through the same process, we were similarly keen to get started.
Our first day was spent with Brodies' IT trainer, who showed us how to operate the internal computer system. By lunchtime everyone was getting to grips with the firm's intranet, and we all had our own Brodies email address and photo entry pass.
My time in Private Client
The placement was structured to enable us to gain a broad understanding of the firm as a whole, while also allowing for plenty of time to get involved in the work of our designated placement team.
I had opportunities to gain experience in a variety of interesting pieces of work in Private Client (PC), one of which was an executry administration. I was involved with the preliminary stages of organising the client's paperwork and recording an inventory of estate assets and liabilities. I was then able to draft letters to relevant parties on behalf of the executors. The sense of achievement was immense when letters that I had helped to draft were signed off and sent on the firm's letterhead.
Another interesting matter in which I was involved was the distribution of an intestate estate. I was given a complex genealogy report and family tree to decipher. First I attempted to chart out the division of the estate assets between the numerous beneficiaries. I was then also able to assist with the next stage, of drafting letters to the entitled beneficiaries. It was rewarding to be able to put some of the theory I had learned at university into practice.
Just some of the other diverse tasks I was given included: organising a locksmith, counting old money from inside a client's safe and meeting a surveyor and valuer on site at a client's property.
I was also able to attend some events outside the office with my team, including a meal out, a charity pub quiz and an evening seminar at a financial advisory firm.
Learning breakfasts were scheduled throughout the placement and provided a chance to meet and learn from lawyers from various sectors within the firm.
As a result of this, I was able to arrange to spend a morning of my placement with the Banking team. I already had an interest in banking, but after the learning breakfast I knew that I wanted to learn more about the role of a banking trainee at Brodies. This proved to be a very interesting and informative experience. It also meant that I was able to spend time in the firm's Lothian Road office, in addition to Atholl Crescent, where I was based.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Brodies - to complete a summer placement with Scotland's leading firm was the realisation of an aspiration for me and PC was an ideal department in which to have a summer placement. Despite it being a very busy department, everyone was extremely generous with their time. I was not necessarily expecting to have exposure to clients while on summer placement, so I was delighted to grasp this opportunity when it arose. The level of responsibility I was entrusted with and the breadth of work I was able to get involved with exceeded my expectations.
At the end of my placement, I was delighted to accept an offer from the firm to start as a trainee in 2018. I already can't wait to get started!
My tip to any summer student:
Keep a diary while on placement to jot down brief notes of the tasks you have completed. As the days whizz past it will be useful for reflection, particularly as the end of placement review and assessments approach.