16 June 2017

By trainee solicitor Sakshi Buttoo

While I was applying for training contracts, I must confess that I only thought about the on-the-job element of training to be a lawyer. Now in my third seat, I really appreciate the training we receive away from our desks. So, what different opportunities are there at Burges Salmon to develop our skills?

Induction training

Upon arrival, we received a thorough induction that lasted for 3 weeks. This ensured we knew how to use the IT systems and also that we know exactly where to go for training and resources within the firm.

Great sessions such as 'The Business Services fair' – much like a fresher's fair at university – introduced us to key parts of the firm which help us day-to-day and showed us how to make the most of the support available. Since then, the Learning and Development team have run several other sessions on time management and provided us with ongoing opportunities to practice our presentation skills, etc.

We have an online system to capture records of our training and work. This system doesn’t just fulfil the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) requirements; it also allows us to look back at lessons learnt within each seat and keep track of our ongoing development too.

Professional Skills Course

As trainee solicitors, we must attend Professional Skills Course (PSC) training, as a requirement set by the SRA. These training sessions consist of both compulsory courses and electives. The courses are great fun, for example the core advocacy skills session where trainee solicitors run a full trial from opening submissions to cross-examining witnesses. An example of an elective is ‘Introduction to the City’; a vital part of training for us given that many of the firm’s clients and/or legal matters are based in London.

Departmental updates

While trainee solicitors rotate around different departments in the firm, we receive training and updates from each team we sit with. Lunchtime or breakfast updates are a great way to keep abreast of hot topics in the law for the department and are attended by most, if not all, of the team.

In addition, several departments provide training sessions for trainee and junior solicitors which are a more practical way of developing skills for practicing in that area of law. During my time in dispute resolution, training included everything from Christmas-themed quizzes to picking up an imaginary telephone to lawyers issuing a claim against our client.

Signing up to other specialisms and sector groups

Should anybody wish to learn more about a specific sector or practice area, we are able to sign up to regular updates and training sessions from those groups. These can be invaluable to begin learning about an area of the law that you may wish to work in later on in your training contract. I’ve been slightly adventurous so far by attending training sessions on the Equine industry.

External speakers

Last but not least, we are very fortunate to receive training from external speakers who visit the firm. Only 6 months into my training contract, I have already attended informative (and often amusing) talks from barristers who regularly attend the Supreme Court and lecturers from the University of Oxford.

There is something out there for everybody.

Key contact

Holly Fey

Holly Fey Head of Resourcing

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Skills development and training opportunities

'The Business Services fair' – much like a fresher's fair at university – introduced us to key parts of the firm which help us day-to-day and showed us how to make the most of the support available.
Sakshi Buttoo, Trainee Solicitor

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