Starting a new job is both exciting and daunting. It is a major change going from the unstructured university lifestyle to a busy trainee work schedule.

Traineeships are challenging: adapting to working in an office, managing deadlines, never mind learning how to be a good lawyer! At this important time in a trainee's career, it is also important to take care of yourself and to maintain a work-life balance. I have set out the five best pieces of advice I have received on how to manage life as a trainee.

Have a support system

    It is important that as trainees we have a support system in place to allow us to learn and make the most of our two years. At the start of our Brodies traineeships, we were each allocated a second-year trainee buddy. They provide a great source of tips, support and advice to help you find your feet, and importantly, to help you work the printer! We also have a qualified solicitor mentor assigned to us in our first seat. My mentor has been crucial to making sure I am coping with my work and ensuring I am fully integrated within my team. Always try to become involved in firm events, activities and external events, it is great to build up a network of like-minded individuals and build a positive network around you.

    Make the most of what is around you

      Our offices are ideally located to make the most of the cities around us. Something simple such as taking advantage of the free fresh fruit, going for a walk at lunchtime or joining a nearby gym can make all the difference in making you more productive and keeping that go-getter attitude that got you the traineeship in the first place.

      Recently, Brodies has rolled out a firm-wide app which provides advice and support to all staff. Our rebranded values emphasise Brodies' commitment to colleagues with our firm values of courage, character, care, collegiate collaborative. There are also many legal-specific support networks and advice platforms available. The Law Society of Scotland also has a trainee helpline and useful advice on its website.

      Well-being workshops

        As part of our trainee program, we have received useful workshops on well-being including one provided by EnergiseYou discussing managing stress levels and keeping a healthy mind. The meditation and mindfulness techniques are very useful, especially on busy days. There are many different approaches to keeping yourself fit and well, whether you walk instead of taking the bus, take part in Pilates at lunch or do a 10-minute guided meditation video on YouTube each morning. It is all about finding what works best for you.

        Exercise and hobbies

          Away from the office, there are many different opportunities to boost your mental and physical fitness. At Brodies we have a running club, lunchtime Pilates, five-a-side football and yoga classes. Outside of the office, I think it is important to have a hobby. Whilst spin classes at 6am might not be realistic for most of us, everyone needs something that provides vital down time. This could be going to that gym class that was your new year's resolution, joining a new club, catching up with friends or doing pub quizzes, it's whatever lets you relax.

          Giving back

            Brodies is an excellent ambassador for giving back to the community around us. We spent a day with CHAS - Children's Hospices Across Scotland - helping with gardening to allow the children there make the most of the green space around them. Brodies has a reading partnership with local schools in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow helping young children with their reading. Our monthly dress down days, our various charity events and fundraising for our charity partner allows the firm to be part of, and benefit the local community.


            Gregor Murphy

            Trainee at Brodies LLP