Starting out at the beginning of the career ladder can make the idea of becoming a partner seem like a distant dream. Impossible, some may even think.
But that goal is achievable – and it doesn't mean having to jump ship from firm to firm.
Pursuing the path from trainee right through to partner at Brodies is far from being an unfamiliar experience. Lawyers at all levels are encouraged and supported in taking ownership of their own development and there are clear, structured routes set out for those who have partnership set in their sights.
One of our recent examples is Jack Moir in our banking and finance practice. Jack started out as a trainee with Brodies in 2009….it's now 11 years later and he's settling into the role of partner since his promotion in May.
Here, he shares his experiences, thoughts and a few tips for trainees starting out.
Where did it all begin?
I joined Brodies as a trainee in July 2009. At the time, I saw myself forging a career as a court lawyer and was impressed by the size and expertise of Brodies' litigation practice. The recruitment process was also a key factor in deciding to accept the traineeship offer, I felt like a valued member of the firm before I had even been offered a job!
What seats did you do – and how did you end up in banking?
My seats were in real estate, litigation and corporate. I joined Brodies looking to pursue a career in litigation, but during my seats in real estate and corporate I realised that I really enjoyed, and had a talent for, transactional commercial work. The banking team had a great reputation for the quality of work it undertook, the dynamic, fast paced nature of the practice area and for working with key clients – this suited me perfectly.
How did the traineeship experience help you to become the lawyer you are now?
It helped me put in place working practices that still serve me well today. I learned that communication and teamwork are key, with both colleagues and clients. I also learned that practical, commercial knowledge is as important to our clients as our legal knowledge. Knowing your market and your clients is vital to being an effective commercial lawyer.
How were you able to progress from a trainee to a partner?
Career progression at Brodies is transparent and it's very clear what you need to be doing to make each of the steps from trainee to partner. The firm is also very supportive of its people at all levels undertaking business development activity and helping to grow our client base and workstreams. There's a genuine team ethos across the firm, the partners are fully supportive of lawyers seeking to fulfil their career goals and many will take an active role in providing guidance and opportunities to facilitate this.
What one piece of advice would you give to trainees?
Get involved in everything that you can. Volunteer, say yes and make the most of it.
What three things can't you live without to do your job?
My colleagues, my phone and strong black coffee.