After seemingly endless days spent in the library trying to complete tutorial readings and pass exams, the day finally comes when you have to apply this knowledge as a Trainee Solicitor. If you find yourself in a position, as I was, having come straight from university with no real experience of working in the legal world, do not worry. The culture at Ashfords is so supportive, that it’ll take no time at all for you to settle into the office environment. You’ll be surrounded by people who are willing to invest time in you to help you develop both personally and professionally.
My first seat at Ashfords has been equal parts challenging and rewarding. The work distributed to me is stimulating, the responsibility I’m given is exciting, and most notably, the people I’m working with amplify the culture at Ashfords which sets it apart from other firms. From the first day of my Training Contract I was encouraged to get involved with the wider aspects of the Ashfords community. Within the first six months I’ve been to numerous externally organised networking events, I’ve volunteered on behalf of Ashfords at a local foodbank, I’ve been involved with fundraising ideas for our chosen charity Winston’s Wish, and I’ve been welcomed into the firm’s internal Environmental, Social and Governance group. The atmosphere within the office is also very positive - there is no unnecessary “face-time” culture, and people are appreciative when you’ve worked hard on a project. Outside of work, there are regular trainee drinks, firm wide dinners, and team events that mean you get a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues.
Based on my experience so far, incoming trainees should follow a couple of simple rules to ensure they’re positively contributing to their team:
Firstly, be organised. Be sure to take a notepad and pen wherever you go and make a note of anything you feel is important. Use this notepad to make a to-do list at the end of every single day, to avoid that feeling of panic when you’ve forgotten to do something you assured would be completed by lunchtime.
Secondly, ask questions. Whatever your reason is for holding back a question, let it go, and ask. During your first seat at Ashfords, you’ll be given responsibility from an early stage in order to aid your development. You’ll liaise directly with clients and have both supporting and substantive roles within projects. Due to this responsibility, it benefits everyone if you ask for advice if and when you need it. The work won’t be done for you, but more senior team members will give insight into how they would approach it, whilst still giving you autonomy to complete the task yourself.
If you join this firm with an open mind, and a willingness to learn, you’ll have a very gratifying first six months.
Like the sound of trainee life? Find out more about trainee opportunities and submit your application by 30 April!
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