Traineeship: What you need to know

Traineeship: What you need to know

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Having a traineeship at Gilson Gray is a great opportunity for future solicitors. The firms is continuously expanding and growing at a rapid pace in many parts of Scotland and more recently in England. This is a great opportunity for any future trainee solicitors.

For all future trainee solicitors in the firm here are some of things you need to know based on my experience as trainee. I have not been a trainee solicitor for very long, but in the short time I have already learned a lot about the traineeship experience at Gilson Gray.

Ask questions!

As you transition from university to office life it can be quite an overwhelming experience, especially if have not worked in an office environment before. The benefit to this is you are surrounded by experienced solicitors, paralegals, partners, and of course other trainees. At Gilson Gray trainees are told they can approach anyone and ask questions when they are struggling.

Do not be afraid to ask questions. Remember there is no such thing as a stupid question! Supervisors would much prefer if you asked questions rather than struggling with something that can be easily resolved by asking.

Get to know the other trainees, more specifically year two trainees or even newly qualified solicitors. Ask them questions about how their first year was and the best way to overcome obstacles. Just remember they have been in your position at some point.

Before you start your traineeship if you know what your first seat is going to be, my advice would be to look over your Diploma notes. Even if you have just graduated in the summer prior to starting your traineeship, it can be a useful exercise to have a refresher of what was taught in the Diploma. I would look over your Diploma notes rather than your undergraduate notes, as for Diploma there was a better focus on the practical side and the tasks that trainees are likely to do in the firm. Even through the course of your traineeship as a whole, there is no harm in quickly referring back to your notes.

Support and Buddies

As well as this, every trainee is assigned a ‘buddy’ who is normally an experienced solicitor who has worked in the firm for a number of years or a solicitor who has recently been through the traineeship experience. My advice would be utilise having a buddy, do this by dropping them a quick email and trying and meet for a coffee or some lunch to ask any questions about the traineeship and maybe how their traineeship was. This way you can ask your buddy questions about the traineeship overall and about being newly qualified. These may be questions that you may not want to ask your supervisor if they are not related directly to your current or upcoming seat.

Although there is a lot of support at the firm there will be times when you will have to use your own initiative when dealing with problems or issues arising. This does not necessarily have to be seen as a negative thing. As it will allow you to develop the skills required when you become a qualified solicitor. It will also allow you to gain confidence when dealing with problems and the reassurance that you can solve these.

Social Events

The firm is very big on holding a number of social events during the course of the year. They have special events whether these are full firm or split into different offices such as Edinburgh and Glasgow. As trainees, we are always encouraged to join in with social events. This is a brilliant way to network and meet other people from other offices that you would not speak to on a daily basis.

Especially after the pandemic, the firm is even more eager to hold social events and encourage everyone to participate. Trainees also have the advantage of helping out at charity events and other social events. I volunteered to help out at a charity event known as the Grace Gala earlier this year which was raising money for Edinburgh and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity. This was a great event and a good opportunity to network and we all received a great surprise when Ewan MacGregor showed up!

Apply now

For full details about our traineeship offer and to apply click here .

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