Litigation was my second traineeship seat. I have met many trainees who wax lyrical about how much they want to be litigators; at the start of my traineeship, I wasn't one of them. However, I wanted to give the seat a go to challenge myself and well, if I didn't enjoy it then I would have at least gained some transferable skills. As it turns out, I really enjoyed it – so much so I have chosen litigation for my future career path. This just goes to show, you should always keep an open mind, as you may well find your opinion changes pre- and post-traineeship!
Here are my top three reasons why you should do a seat in litigation.
Litigation is the umbrella term for a whole variety of sub-areas , such as debt and asset recovery, commercial litigation, and real estate litigation. This means you can gain experience in working on a range of disputes from actions in the sheriff courts, court of session and the lands tribunal.
You might be surprised to hear that the work in litigation is not always contentious. A key part of working in litigation is giving clients practical advice on how to avoid disputes.
In terms of your day-to-day workload, don't expect to be making tea or pushing paper. Instead, you will be drafting pleadings, advice notes, preparing for proofs, and yes, appearing in court. As a trainee, you really are a valuable resource to the various teams within litigation.
As part of working in debt and asset recovery, you have the opportunity to take on an independent workload. Of course, you are supervised, but being able to exercise a degree of autonomy over your workload challenges you to proactively push cases forward and think about strategy. You also have direct contact with clients and become familiar with the billing process. This gives trainees a true insight into what life is like as a lawyer.
It is important to mention here that you will not always get things right. This is why as a trainee you are always supervised even when it comes to your own cases. If you make a mistake, and you will, then learn from it and try not to make the same mistake again!
3. Collaborative working
While you will have cases that you work on independently, what I enjoyed most is the opportunity to work closely with my colleagues. Trainees play a key role in preparing for proofs and by doing this well, you really can make a difference for your colleagues and allow things to run smoothly. You will also be expected to consult with colleagues, not just in litigation, but across other practice areas such as real estate and banking, in order to best solve legal problems and deliver excellent client service.
Apply now for our 2023 traineeships