Extra-curricular activities in a law firm

Do not forget to add these skills to your training contract and vacation scheme application forms. You never know when they might be useful or how they will affect your day-to-day work.

05 March 2018

By trainee solicitor Robert Jeffrey

I have had the privilege of helping to organise the annual Burges Salmon and Osborne Clarke carol service for two years running and I thought it was a good example to show how your extra-curricular activities fit into the working life of a law firm.

From Bristol Cathedral to Burges Salmon

Before I started at the firm, I worked at Bristol Cathedral as one of the in-house choral singers or lay clerks. I would usually sing in six weekly services and this would increase during the busy Christmas and Easter weeks.

As I was just about settling into my first seat at the firm in private client services, I got involved with organising the joint Burges Salmon and Osborne Clarke carol service in connection with our charity of the year, Julian House.

I took part in meetings with representatives from the firm, Osborne Clarke and the Pip n Jay Church in order to arrange the date, venue and, in particular, the music for the event.

There was a wide range of tasks to get involved in, including organising mince pies and coffee, selecting carols for the service, running the choir rehearsals and helping with the brass band. Fortunately, the representatives from both firms were fantastic, as were all the people I asked for help from across the firm.

So what did I learn?

As a trainee at Burges Salmon, there is an expectation for you to take ownership on the matters you work for in your department. This can be quite daunting and your roles organising CR events, sports teams, social events and a carol service can help with this. They are a great experience for learning how to lead projects.

Carols, cake, canoeing or cricket matches

So whatever it is you love doing and want to spend time on, either now or for when you start your training contracts – keep going. The firm is supportive in its approach to all things extra-curricular.

Make sure these skills are visible on your application forms, as you never know how they might be useful in a few years’ time. One of the trumpet players in the carol service brass band ended up being my supervisor for my third seat in dispute resolution.

Key contact

Extra-curricular activities in a law firm

The firm is supportive in its approach to all things extra-curricular.
Robert Jeffrey, Trainee Solicitor

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