The first half of the training contract has flown by and there has certainly been plenty of learning along the way. Below are some of the lessons learnt / points to be aware of as a trainee solicitor.
If you are not sure, ask
There will be a time (or even many times) in your training contract where you receive a task from your supervisor and you think you know what you need to do, however 5 minutes later, on reflection, you wish you had asked extra questions to clarify the details. Although it may feel awkward going back to your supervisor to clarify, there is no point sitting for hours thinking about it or trying to guess your way through. Go back and ask your supervisor the extra question or failing that ask a colleague.
Where possible, get involved in as many events as you can during your training contract. Be it networking events, sporting events or even a Fifa 2018 Xbox tournament! They are a great way to meet people from other organisations and you get an early chance to get some networking practice in, which is essential as your career progresses.
Different styles of working
As with any organisation, people have different styles of working. You will not be expected to work out the style on day 1 of your seat, however as time goes on you will learn to adapt to the relevant style. In 6 months' time the working style may change again as you change teams. This is just part of the process of getting to know a new department.
Manage your capacity & time recording
Managing your work capacity is important. Continually taking on work without reflecting on what you have already and what you are realistically able to do is going to cause you a problem in the long run. Manage your work by the use of to-do-lists / post-it notes or something similar. If you're asked whether you can complete a task by a certain date you are then in a much better position to answer.
Where possible, it is better to record your time on matters as you go along. Trying to do this at the end of the day or a week can be difficult and also time consuming.
Mistakes - how you learn from them is what matters
It is never a great feeling making a mistake, regardless of your role within an organisation, however during your training contract at some point it will happen. You will not get berated for making a mistake at Ashfords but it is important that you learn from it to minimise the chances of making the same mistake again in the future.
- 2 mins read