The start of the traineeship is full of wonder and nerves. As I finish my first week working in the Capital Square office in Edinburgh, I find myself reflecting upon some advice that I have found to be true over this first week.
Everyone is willing to help. Although it is important to be able to figure out an issue yourself, you can strike a balance. Questions are an important part of the learning process and don't be afraid to ask for clarification on a task, for information about internal processes, for technological support, and for help when you don't necessarily even know what question to ask. This is normal. Of course, remember to listen to the answer.
First impressions are important, but they are not everything. The attitude and work ethic you bring to the spaces you are in will make the lasting impression. Being unsure about a point of law you learned a year ago or stumbling over your words is not the end of the world. You will remember this week in much finer detail than anyone else around you will. You have landed your position as trainee; you can take a breath and remember it is not necessary to overthink.
Interested people are interesting. You are not expected to come in with an illustrious background. Instead, be a sponge and absorb the information circling the environment. This ranges from overhearing chats amongst different teams to participating in your own tasks and discussions. Shed any preconceived notions of what you will be doing and learn from all the different resources at your fingertips. By being interested in what you are doing, it makes your work feel more meaningful, helps you retain information, and helps increase your legal skills.
You're not alone
There is a support network built in at Brodies for new trainees. At the core, your intake of trainees will look out for one another. You can eat lunch together, ask each other questions, and take comfort in the fact that you all feel similar nerves or confusion.
You are also given a buddy, someone who has experience being a trainee at Brodies. Again, they can reassure you about your experiences and give practical advice on how they have managed. You also have your mentor and supervising lawyers. These are lawyers from your current seat who give you assignments, provide you with feedback, and assist you along the way. Beyond this, you have the colleague networks and many other colleagues around the office to speak to and learn from. With everyone around you at Brodies, take comfort in that you are not alone.