There are many qualities that could be said to hold the keys to success as a trainee solicitor. An ability to pay close attention to detail is surely one such quality, so too a propensity to produce well-researched legal advice and, not least, an ability to build positive professional relationships with those around you. However, though there is no “magic bullet” here, adaptability is surely an essential attribute that is to be valued in any young lawyer.
Trainees, when embarking upon their first foray into the profession, must quickly make the transition from law student to legal practitioner. From there, trainees must adapt to working with a range of different fee earners and be willing and able, when the time comes, to switch seamlessly between teams as they progress through their four “seats”. Finally, trainees must make that all-important leap from trainee solicitor to NQ.
Whilst these things should be considered par for the course, the Covid-19 crisis has, rather uniquely, necessitated another transition into what can be said to be a whole new way of working. As Government advice trickled in back in March, it became clear that trainee life was to undergo a profound shift, as office workers were told to abandon their daily commutes and work from home instead.
This could have been a daunting prospect for trainees. Afterall, the dynamic, collegiate environment of the office, in which trainees can listen and observe their more experienced colleagues and learn through osmosis, can be considered an important aspect of legal training. Nevertheless, at Steele Raymond, trainees have quickly adapted to home working, aided by the range of support on offer that has helped to smooth the transition from office to home.
Dispute Resolution trainee, Amy Baugh, commented, “From day one, it was clear that Steele Raymond had no intention of wavering in its commitment to providing its trainees with the diverse and rigorous training that is needed to develop the next generation of commercially astute junior lawyers. Not only have I been involved in a number of varied and exciting cases throughout this lockdown period, I have also benefitted from unwavering support from my fellow fee earners and Training Principal, who were always on hand to assist me when needed”.
Family trainee, Jess Wade, added, “Despite working remotely, I have continued to gain invaluable legal experience, including the opportunity to attend remote hearings and conferences with clients, all from the confines of home. Regular catch ups with my team via video link has meant that I never felt alone. The team has been proactive in involving me and ensuring that I receive the advice and feedback that I need to grow”.
Private Client trainee, Ben MacDiarmid, also noted, “Steele Raymond’s advanced IT connectivity has meant that all trainees were equipped with the tools they needed to continue to be effective fee earners throughout the crisis. The firm has been proactive in managing staff wellbeing, too, with virtual socials, such as quiz nights, helping to maintain the comradery between staff at all levels”.
Whilst working from home, trainees have benefitted from Steele Raymond’s collaborative and highly supportive working culture. This has meant that Steele Raymond’s trainees have continued to develop, gaining valuable legal experience over the last six months. Whilst we all look forward to our eventual return to the office and a restoration of the “old” normal of face-to-face collaboration, it is clear to see that Steele Raymond has not wavered in its commitment to its trainees during this period of home working.
Nevertheless, Steele Raymond’s trainees will soon be reunited in what will be their first “non-virtual” social for months, as they welcome the incoming cohort of trainees and the new placement student with a celebratory brunch.
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