16 November 2017

By trainee solicitor Charlotte Robinson

Burges Salmon offers a whole range of sporting opportunities including hockey, pilates, running, cricket and golf. During my training contract, I’ve particularly enjoyed getting involved in the Burges Salmon netball team.

Not only are corporate sports fun and great for both mental and physical health, getting involved early on in your training contract can also play an important role in helping trainees to develop those all-important “soft skills” required for a career as a lawyer. Here’s how:

1. Teamwork

It goes without saying that playing team sports requires teamwork. Success on the netball pitch involves co-operation, adaptability and willingness to support your teammates. You have to be ready to switch between positions, find new ways to support your teammates in every different game.

Adaptability is also a key skill in the workplaces, as trainees have to be able to pick up work from a whole range of people, taking on different roles to suit the particular needs of whichever matter we find ourselves working on.

2. Networking

Being involved in a corporate sports league is a great chance to build connections with young professionals around the city, in the legal sector and other professions. For those of us who find formal networking events intimidating, chatting on the netball court and at league socials is an easy way in. It's also a great starting point for conversation when you then cross paths with other players off the netball pitch at other networking events.

3. Organisation

Along with a couple of the other trainees, I volunteered to take on the task of running the corporate netball at Burges Salmon. As well as organising our firm team, we also run the Bristol corporate netball league. This involves quite a lot of admin: everything from booking courts and timetabling matches, to organising league social and networking events.

Being able to balance admin tasks alongside more urgent, substantive work is an essential skill to learn as a trainee; getting involved in running sports teams is great practice for the more administrative side of being a qualified lawyer, such as networking, arranging events and dealing with the financials.

4. Financial awareness

Another important element of running the league is financial organisation: we have to monitor the netball team accounts and expenditure, budget for all elements of the league, and co-ordinate with all other teams to arrange payments. Billing and financial management is a key part of a lawyer’s job role. It’s important to be able to be confident in keeping on top of the figures. Being involved in social and sports club budgets is a great starting point.

5. Stress relief

Last but by no means least, getting out and being active is a great stress reliever at the end of a busy day at the office. It’s important to be able to switch off from computer screens and legal documents in the evening and get outdoors, and it’s great that Burges Salmon encourages us all to take part in sporting events.

Key contact

Holly Fey

Holly Fey Head of Resourcing

  • Recruitment and resourcing
  • Inclusive employment
  • New starter onboarding

What I learnt from playing in the corporate netball team

For those of us who find formal networking events intimidating, chatting on the netball court and at league socials is an easy way in.
Charlotte Robinson, Trainee Solicitor

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