Week in the Life of a Trainee Solicitor
I’m expecting this week to be particularly busy, so get in early to get set up for the day This definitely involves a large cup of the excellent coffee available in the office. Looking through my inbox and calendar, I make a list of tasks by priority. A client on one of the smaller disputes I’m working on has sent an email over the weekend that needs immediate action. I draft a response and run it past my supervisor for approval before sending it – thankfully, no red pen on this occasion.
There are two ongoing tasks I have to finish this week. One is a document review exercise, checking for relevance and privilege prior to disclosure. The other is a complicated piece of research for a senior associate that we’ll discuss before his meeting with counsel on Friday, which I’ll also attend.
On Monday evenings there’s a choice between rugby and football with office team. Kick-off is at 7.30pm and, since I won’t get home before the match, grab something for dinner from the office canteen.
I’m in the office by 8am to attend a breakfast briefing by a senior QC. She’s updating us on developments on the law of privilege. Back at my desk at 9.30am, I respond to an email from an Associate in the group confirming I have time to research the implications of a recent Supreme Court decision on a client’s piece of litigation. Having reviewed the case, and prepared an email note of my findings, we spend ten minutes discussing the points raised.
As a designated ‘Relationship Trainee’ I’m helping the group’s client relationship partner build connections with an international oil and gas client. That means preparing for a meeting with an existing client, where we’ll explore how we can work with them across other practice groups. We’re currently being instructed on a commercial litigation case but are hoping to cross-sell our services and assist them with employment and pensions in particular.
I have to be super-organised today because I want to attend a networking event at my old university in the evening. Most of the day is spent working on the document review exercise, reading the pleadings to the case and an accompanying briefing note, then reviewing and flagging relevant documents. The team gets together to run through the points that have been raised, and narrow the issues in the review.
In the afternoon we have our weekly departmental meeting, where we get updates on live matters from the fee earners, discuss capacity and allocate tasks.
I do manage to leave on time and head to my old university for an event with potential vacation placement and training contract candidates. The first half is a presentation on what life at Pinsent Masons is like, followed by drinks and networking. It’s always good to answer any questions they have about working and training at the firm, and I am happy to share my experiences with them. I remember what it’s like to be in their shoes and not being 100% sure which step to take next.
My focus today is on finalising my research in advance of our meeting with counsel on Friday. It relates to a contractual dispute and the application of an equitable principle. I refer to online and printed practitioner’s texts and consider a number of cases, providing a detailed summary note for the senior associate. We agree to discuss my findings on the way to the conference with counsel the next day. I manage to leave by 6:30pm to go for a few drinks with friends.
Today is the firm’s monthly ‘dress down for charity’ day, where we all pay £1 to wear informal clothes to work and raise money for the nearby children’s hospice. Unfortunately I still have to be in a suit and tie because I’m attending a conference at counsel’s chambers.
I travel there with a senior associate, and we discuss the briefing note I’ve already prepared. During the conference I’m encouraged to take part when we go over the points I’ve researched. I also complete an attendance note of what’s being discussed. We grab a bite on the way back to the office, then I get started on preparing an index for trial bundles which we’ll need later in the year. Another trainee helps me out with a template so that I can begin reviewing the inter-party correspondence files and identify and index all of the relevant documents. As it’s the end of another busy week, I head for dinner and drinks with some fellow trainees.