Next week will mark my 15th month of the traineeship – the funny thing is that I feel as though it was just yesterday that I picked out my suit, polished my shoes and attended the firm induction.
A warm welcome
No doubt you will hear from any seasoned solicitor that the start of your traineeship is a memorable event. However, what makes mine more memorable than ever is that at the time of starting my traineeship, Covid restrictions were still in place and working from home was the norm. Luckily enough though, the firm was able to arrange for our induction to take place in person. It did mean having to wear masks and socially distance ourselves (imagining what your future colleagues’ faces look like), but it also meant that we could meet each other (other trainees), HR, Heads of Departments as well as the board without relying on a laptop camera.
I think that the sheer effort which was put into ensuring that we experienced a warm welcome shows how important people are to the firm. You could tell that it was a priority that we started out in person, even if it were to be for 30 minutes. All of us were also assigned a ‘buddy’ (anyone from an NQ to a Partner) who we could call and organise meetings with to discuss settling in, discuss any troubles or, simply ask for introductions to other colleagues. This in my opinion definitely assisted in making the transition from a law student to a trainee much easier.
My general traineeship: a four-seat rotation
Nonetheless, if you are reading this blog it is because you want to know more about the traineeship looks like. I should start by saying that we have three types of trainees: general, corporate/ commercial and conveyancing. I am one of the general trainees meaning that I undertake your typical six-month four-seat traineeship.
My first seat was in Residential Conveyancing where my very first task was to draft a report on title for a client. I will never forget the excitement of having been sent a set of title deeds and discussing with the Partner what I thought was relevant, before sending a reporting email to the client explaining what their prospective title deeds said. Every week I was introduced to further stages of the process (from exchanging missives and drafting observations, to liaising with mortgage lenders, and drafting securities and dispositions) having been given the opportunity to handle my own matters as a fee earner towards the end of the seat.
Once my six months in Residential Conveyancing were up, I joined the Private Client team where I shadowed and assisted with client meetings right away. It was only a matter of time with which I took lead on instructions meetings, having a colleague present ready to jump in should I have faced any curveballs or required clarification. With each meeting my confidence, technical knowledge and rapport improved, but so did my ability to draft taking that I was responsible for drafting the relevant will and/or power of attorney upon taking instructions. Personally, the ability to work on and maintain your own client relationships is an important aspect of the job and it is great that we are able to do just that at this stage – not every traineeship offers you this. As my knowledge and experience grew, I got to work on various complex matters including intestate/testate executries, trust deeds, and charity constitutions.
At the time of writing, I am in my third month of working in our Debt Recovery team. In this seat, I work on various types of payment actions from Simple Procedure and Ordinary Cause to Sequestrations and First Tier Tribunal housing actions. This is not only drafting and observing them but also appearing and representing clients during them. I have the opportunity to regularly appear in procedural hearings and gain exposure to the relevant court procedure. All whilst being able to discuss any aspect of my work with the team who are willing to drop everything as and when needed to assist you.
I could go on and on, but this blog is only a taster of what is to come during your GG traineeship. You will get to draft, observe, advise, and appear throughout, and every single person who you come across is ready to encourage, support and root for you. I have really enjoyed it and definitely feel as though it has prepared me well for tackling any challenge I am faced with on qualifying.
For full details about our traineeship offer and to apply click here .