When I first considered becoming a solicitor, I was told to avoid the career as too many long nights spent burning the midnight oil would leave me with no social life and no mates. Whilst one of those statements certainly might be true, in my experience I have found that the extra-curricular activities available at Ashfords have added to and enhanced my social life.
There are a number of sporting extra-curricular activities that Ashfords encourages its employees to participate in. For example, Ashfords' Bristol office takes part in a 7-a-side football league against other law firms in the area. The team is made up of players from both Ashfords and local law firm Thrings, which makes it a great opportunity to get to know other solicitors in the area whilst ruining your reputation by getting repeatedly nutmegged. There is also a softball league that takes part in the summer months and periodic yoga classes (which also features in the Exeter office) if scoring a worldie from 30-yards isn't your thing. With all these competitions, there is always post-match socialising with your colleagues and (depending on whether you/they are sore losers) the opposition.
The firm also participates in events in local communities that enable those at Ashfords to get out and about in the non-working hours. Ashfords was recently a lead sponsor of the Taunton Marathon, which meant that participating colleagues could avoid the situation where you pay an audacious registration fee to spend 2 hours inducing a near cardiac arrest as you haul yourself over the course. Ashfords are also sponsoring the upcoming Bristol 10k. For those involved, it's a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues in a non-working environment.
Away from sport, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy yourself outside of the working environment. In the Ashfords Exeter office, the profile of the 'XYBC' group in the area helps to attract young professionals from a number of different sectors. This is a great opportunity to develop a network of friends and colleagues who are in a similar position in their careers whilst developing your networking skills on a casual basis. The group holds various events such as trampoline dodgeball, and pub quizzes. If quizzing is your thing, Ashfords groups are regularly participating in quizzes, allowing you to test your knowledge on flags of the world, niche pop culture references and the kings and queens of England.
Overall, the opportunities for extra-curricular activities given to you at Ashfords offer a real enhancement of your training contract experience. It's a good idea to get involved in as many of them as possible.