Moving to Exeter to start my training contract at Ashfords was an exciting but also a daunting prospect. From the outset I was determined to make the most out of the opportunities available at Ashfords and also to get involved in the wider Exeter legal community. For this reason when the opportunity arose to join the Devon and Somerset Junior Lawyers Division ("JLD") Committee I was keen to get involved.
The JLD is all about supporting junior lawyers by providing them with an opportunity to network, benefit from additional training and most importantly connect with other junior lawyers - I always look forward to our socials!
Since being on the committee I have been involved in a wide range of social events, including trampoline dodgeball, a masquerade ball and an evening at the races. Now that Summer has arrived I am looking forward to our kayaking social on Exeter Quay and a football tournament at the University.
As Education Representative I am responsible for organising events which help members develop their knowledge. Recently this involved organising an Approaching Qualification seminar. The event was a great opportunity for trainees from Exeter Law Firms to get together and learn more about the qualification process, including information on what practice areas are prompting a demand for newly qualified solicitors. It was also enjoyable to chat to other trainees with a glass of wine in hand and a slice of pizza, kindly donated by Dominos! Unsurprisingly we raised an impressive amount of money from pizza sales that evening for our charity of the year Exeter Leukaemia Fund.
Being part of the JLD committee requires dedication and does require me to find a good balance between my workload as a trainee and my JLD obligations, but it is definitely worthwhile. My role on the committee has not only enabled me to meet trainees from other firms but to also strengthen friendships with trainees at Ashfords, given that there are three trainees and a recently qualified solicitor from Ashfords on the committee this year. I would really recommend getting involved as a trainee. It's never too early to start building your network!