Six months later…
We have now been working in the firm for six months and we are glad to report that we have all settled well into our respective departments. In terms of workload, we have continued to complete a variety of different tasks and we have been given increasing responsibility to contact clients and manage our own files (under supervision, of course). Alongside work, there are various different business development events and corporate social responsibility activities that we have been encouraged to become involved with and we have decided to focus on these in our current post.
Although it seems a long time ago now, we all enjoyed a break over the Christmas holidays and the opportunity to attend lots of Christmas parties. In the Manchester office, we have an office wide Christmas party at a local hotel. Each department also holds its own Christmas lunch at various local restaurants, complete with Secret Santa, which can be a little daunting when you are required to shop for the head of department! There were further opportunities to get involved informally in different activities organised by the trainees, including trips to the Christmas markets in Manchester, attending the switch on of the Christmas lights and the Manchester Trainee Solicitor Group Christmas ball.
Starfish and business development
Now that we have settled in, we have also enjoyed the chance to participate in some of the corporate social responsibility activities that the firm organises. In terms of CSR, there are a number of ways that trainees can join in the Starfish project and we are each given an annual allocation of CSR hours. For example, a few of us visited a local children’s mission to prepare toy boxes to be sent out to local families, which was a really worthwhile and enjoyable experience. The Manchester office also recently held a careers morning for local school children to help them gain a greater insight into careers. We gave presentations about the role of a trainee solicitor and the children all seemed to enjoy the day and the chance to explore the office.
Another benefit of being a trainee at a commercial law firm is that you are encouraged to focus on business development from your first seat onwards. This helps you develop those client-facing skills that become increasingly important as your career progresses. It can mean lots of breakfast seminars, training events, drinks evenings and during the Christmas period lots of festive events. You may even get the chance to impress clients by demonstrating your quiz knowledge (which you have probably spent three valuable years at university building up). Although quite intimidating at first, business development events are often fun, after all who doesn’t enjoy a good quiz?
During the last week we have received confirmation about our next seat. The first few months have flown by and it is scary to think we are already quarter of the way through our training contract! We are all looking forward to learning about a new department, meeting some of the other people in the firm and of course welcoming the new batch of trainees who will be starting in March.