New Beginnings…

It’s ironic that when you finally feel settled and confident in what you are doing, you are presented with a crate box to pack away the excessive amount of stationary (enough to open my own Paperchase) which has accumulated over the past six months.  It’s the day I never expected to come round so quickly; seat change.  The prospect of ‘moving house’ would not be such a challenge if I was moving down the corridor or up/down a floor, but the opportunity to go on secondment means the involvement of a car and a strong pair of hands.  Fear not I have befriended security and they have assured me all my coloured tabs and endless note books are safe and sound at their new desk.  One less thing to worry about at least.

Unfortunately I am again presented with those first-day nerves and the prospect of being the ‘new girl’, however after 6 months at PM the idea does not seem nearly as daunting as it did six months ago and the nerves are not as overwhelming.  I have learnt more than I ever expected during the past six months and have been given more responsibility than I ever anticipated and am now keen to use and develop these skills in my next seat.  Being selected to go on secondment will no doubt prove to be an invaluable experience and will provide an excellent opportunity to develop my legal skills in a client-focused environment.  It will inevitably enable me to witness first hand what pressures clients face in these challenging times and how we as their legal advisers can help them to overcome them.  Secondments are a major focus at Pinsent Masons and I feel very honoured to have been given the opportunity to represent the firm at such an early stage of my training contract – normally you would only go on secondment during the second year of your training contract.    I will be on secondment for three months and will then return to our Dispute Resolution & Litigation team for the second part of my seat.  I am very much looking forward to the opportunity of meeting new people within the firm and also the challenge of new work.  No one department is the same and each new seat will present an opportunity to learn something new and develop the skills you have gained to date.

With the start of a new chapter comes the end of another.  Corporate life has been brilliant and I am sad to be leaving the department and in particular the team.  I could not have asked for a better to start to my training contract and the level of support and encouragement I have received from all levels during my seat has been overwhelming. During the past 6 months I have been assisting my supervisor on a complex transaction which completed on the last day of my seat.  There is a real sense of achievement when you get to see something come together and you are then able to appreciate the role you played in helping that client achieve their objective.  Preparing for a completion meeting is a job usually assigned to trainees and it is your responsibility to ensure that everything runs smoothly.  Organisation is key and the importance of coloured tabs cannot be understated.  Providing you plan ahead and make sure everyone knows what they are doing completion meetings are great fun and the majority end with champagne!  I have loved Corporate and cannot recommend it more as a seat choice.

The final days in a seat would not be complete without a farewell drink/party of some form.  The department organised a trainee leaving drinks evening which coincided with a general end of seat trainee drinks event.  It was a great chance to catch up with fellow trainees outside of the office and say goodbye to those you had been working with for the past 6 months.  The great thing about trainee life at PM is that you never go into a department without any background knowledge as you can rely on your fellow trainees for advice and an excellent hand-over note!  It’s the support of trainees in the previous seat which make the transition into your next seat much easier – I hope my successor feels I lived up to my end of the bargain in this respect.

I will be spending the next two days in London for the DR&L induction.  During these two days I will be given an insight into what is expected of trainees in DR&L and will be given an indication of the level of responsibility and type of work that I am likely to be involved in.  These two days are a great comfort in helping you manage expectations and understand what is expected.  Plus since the training takes place in London it means I get to see this magical technology that Laura speaks of in our new Crown Place office.  This I am eager to see!

Please feel free to blog back with any questions you may have whether it be about vacation placement, training contract application or general life as a trainee.  Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog.  I will be in touch shortly with details of life in-house!

Until then…