Hints and tips for future trainee solicitors

Tips for future trainees on what to expect and how to get the most out of your training contract

03 September 2019
Burges Salmon Bristol office at night

By Trainee Solicitor Sophie Potter

As I will be a qualified solicitor from September 2019, this will be my last ‘trainee’ blog. I can’t believe that the last two years have flown by so quickly. I thought it would be useful to take stock and share my hints and tips for future trainee solicitors. Hopefully this blog will give future trainees tips on what to expect and how to get the most out of a training contract.

First things first, a bit about me and my background. I will be qualifying into the Corporate team at Burges Salmon in September 2019. I have completed trainee seats in Banking, Real Estate, Corporate, Corporate Funds and Dispute Resolution. I have really enjoyed my time as a trainee solicitor at Burges Salmon and I have learnt more than I ever imagined. I now feel ready to take the next step into qualification and I am very excited for what’s ahead. 

So without further ado, here are my top four tips for getting the most out of your training contract:

Be prepared and make an impression

You will regularly be asked to attend a lawyer’s office to take instructions. Be prepared and always bring a pen and notepad with you. I appreciate this sounds obvious, however you would be surprised at the number of trainees who forget the basics. You will make a good impression if you turn up on time, take good notes and ask sensible questions about the task ahead. 

Get to know your colleagues

Make a conscious effort to get involved in activities going on around the firm and get to know your colleagues. After all, these are the people who you will be spending a lot of your time with and it is good to be able to have conversations with colleagues which don’t revolve solely around work.

Keep an open mind

There will be times when you are working on a matter which may not be the most interesting, or you are sitting in a seat which wasn’t your first choice. However, embrace whatever it is you are doing. You have no doubt worked very hard to get into the position you are in, so try and stay positive and take as much as you can from every new opportunity. 

Enjoy it!

Last but not least, enjoy your two years as a trainee solicitor. It may be stressful and tiring at times, but try and step back and relish the opportunities you have been given. It really is a two year job interview at the end of the day, and you want to be able to look back on your experience feeling like you have no regrets. 

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