1 - The Work
My first seat was with the commercial property team. I was exposed to a wide variety of clients and work - from large scale complex development sales, to the more routine buying and selling of houses. While I mainly worked for the commercial property team, a benefit of being based in Aberdeen is that the team is slightly smaller and there's more chance to get involved in work with the wider Real Estate practice area, including residential property, land & rural business and planning. This is something which might not come about so readily in Edinburgh or Glasgow, where the teams are larger.
After eight months, I moved to my second seat, in oil & gas. Work I've been involved in includes drafting provisions in upstream agreements as well as reviewing service sector contracts. The highlight so far is being involved in a high value diligence project for one of the major North Sea operators which is selling assets in the UKCS. The oil & gas team is primarily based in Aberdeen so you can only do this seat here.
2 - The Opportunities
I've had so many great opportunities during my first year. The chance to assist other teams with work makes my day really varied and also gives me an insight into the work of other practice areas. For example, I've been called upon to lodge documents at court, as well as assist in client meetings for the family and employment teams.
I've also had the opportunity to get involved in a number of "extra-curricular" activities, such as: joining the Aberdeen branch of the Charities Committee; taking part in fundraising for an Arctic Trek that colleagues took part in; as well as doing the Maggie's Culture Crawl. I'm also part of the Reading Partners initiative in Aberdeen - volunteering fortnightly to help primary school children with their reading.
All of the Brodies offices are very much linked as one firm. The Aberdeen trainees often (and are encouraged to) travel and work in the other office locations to meet the wider team, attend meetings and training sessions, as well as the popular trainee social events, so it's also a great opportunity to visit other parts of Scotland.
3 - The People
When I changed seat, I moved from one friendly team to another. With Aberdeen being smaller than the Glasgow and Edinburgh offices (albeit continually growing - the office is now at more than 90 people), you get to know people that bit quicker. This meant I had spoken to many of my new colleagues before I moved seat, making the transition much less daunting. The office is very friendly and everyone is happy to chat in the break-out areas. Aberdeen Cake Fridays are also a popular way to catch up with colleagues!
Moreover, some of the best legal minds in the country work at Brodies (and in Aberdeen!) so having the opportunity to work alongside them is fantastic. The partners are experts in their fields and have advised and guided me through work.
Finally (and a sneaky fourth reason), Aberdeen is a growing hub of activity (both cultural and investment) in Scotland. In fact, the New York Times recently included the city in its 52 places to go in 2019 list - that's no mean feat. Aberdeen often gets overshadowed by Edinburgh and Glasgow but there are plenty of things happening - festivals such as Nuart, Look Again, Comedy and Spectra to name a few as well as the beautiful surrounding area of Aberdeenshire. The often dubbed 'grey' city should perhaps be renamed...