I was a paralegal at Ashfords prior to starting my training contract at the firm in September 2017. As a paralegal I was fortunate to work in our head office in Exeter before transferring to the London office.
I am now about to start my second seat as a trainee having been with the Commercial Litigation Team for the first six months. I had been warned several times before starting that the time will fly by, and I can't believe our intake are already moving into our second seats.
The start of my training contract has been thoroughly enjoyable and I have looked to make the most out of the opportunities that come with being a London based trainee.
Our New Fetter Lane Office is just over the road from the Roll's Building and a short walk away from the Royal Courts of Justice. Being a trainee in a litigation role has meant I have regularly been asked to attend Court for various departments across our offices. This is always a great experience, albeit nerve-wracking on occasion. You can never plan for how your visit will pan out and you have to be prepared for any eventuality.
This was highlighted by one trip I made shortly after starting in Commercial Litigation when I attended the Queen's Bench Division to file an application to transfer a case to the Chancery Division. The court counter staff refused to accept the application without me going before a Master. I had not planned for this and was met with trepidation as I knocked on the Master's door. Fortunately, I had sufficient knowledge of the background and the Master approved the Order without any problems.
It is no surprise to say that the business development opportunities for a trainee in London are virtually endless. This ranges from Ashfords hosted events such as a Tennis Tournament at Queen's Club to our annual Battle of the Bands fundraising event, to events organised by various professional groups in London including networking evenings for University of Exeter graduates working in the City.
Our trainees are also well supported by the firm in looking to bring our own initiatives to the table. In early March 2018, I arranged through a contact for our London Office to host the inaugural "Meet the Ambassador" meeting for the Young Professionals Network of the Westminster Branch of the United Nations Association.
My second seat will be with the Insolvency Team and I am looking forward to getting started and taking advantage of the opportunities that will come my way.