Having completed their first week in the Brodies family law team, Nilah Ulhaq and Poppy Prior reflect on life as a new family lawyer and share their advice for others starting out in a role while working remotely.
- Meeting your new colleagues… via video call
The days of making someone's acquaintance by way of a handshake seem like a distant memory. What about meeting your new team for the first time? The importance of carving out time to meet and 'see' colleagues regularly cannot be overstated. Without the scope for "water cooler" chat, we've all had to become inventive in how to socialise with colleagues. Set up chats with colleagues you would be in touch with regularly if in the office. It's still okay to spend time speaking and getting to know other people!
Team meetings (on Microsoft Teams!) has allowed our family team across all of our offices to stay in touch. We have had regular contact with our supervisors and mentors and have enjoyed various virtual coffees, and a team quiz (which included a rather adorable round of 'guess the baby'!)
- Familiarise yourself with how your colleagues work
One way to make yourself useful and ensure that you can hit the ground running as your workload picks up, is to arrange to be copied into emails so that you get to know what work is going on and how you can assist.
This is also an excellent time to find out about your team's preferred ways of working. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions! Seeking feedback early on with regular one to ones helps to establish a good rapport.
- Get comfortable with the IT and gadgets
The thought of navigating a new system can be daunting. Take your time! Make use of IT training resources and don't be afraid to video call a colleague if you need help. At Brodies we are fortunate to have one-to-one training with (unfailingly patient) IT trainers.
- Attend Webinars and business development events
Signing up to webinars and other online courses will not only expand your legal knowledge, but it will also give you the opportunity to network and meet other professionals.
Breakfast with Brodies is a great place to start; the training programme offers newly qualified solicitors across Scotland access to both learning and networking online.
- Raise your professional profile online
Professional networking is an important part of any new lawyer's role. Keep your professional profile updated and make sure you stay in touch. Connecting with individuals on LinkedIn is a great way to let people know about your new role.
Starting a new job is exciting but can also be challenging, particularly remotely. The warm welcome and sense of collegiality in Brodies' family team has made the transition seamless.