A day in the Life of a Trainee
Cameron Crees, trainee, Payne Hicks Beach LLP
Departments to date: Private Client and Dispute Resolution
During their two year training period trainee solicitors usually spend six months in four of the Firm's five specialist departments so that they have experience of a wide-cross section of the Firm's work.
These departments are:
- Private Client
- Company and Commercial (including Employment)
- Dispute Resolution.
As far as possible, the trainee's choice of department is accommodated. They usually sit in the same room as a partner and are involved in the day to day activities of the department to which they are assigned. They attend conferences with clients, counsel and other professional advisers and may be asked to assist in all aspects of the department's work. Since there is usually only one trainee per department at any one time, the trainee plays a very important role.
During each six month period the trainees are given increasing responsibility, depending on their ability and aptitude and they are subject to a continuous period of assessment. A formal appraisal takes place each six months.
The Firm considers the continuing academic learning of its trainees to be extremely important. In addition to the Professional Skills Course, the Firm has a formal training system. As well as an induction course, trainees attend lectures and seminars throughout the two year period on various legal topics.
Trainees are selected from a large number of applicants, so very high standards are set in the selection process. The Firm recruits both law and non-law graduates and also mature students. Although good academic qualifications are essential, (an upper second class degree is a minimum requirement), we are also looking for applicants with personality and enthusiasm.
Trainees need to develop a range of skills to enable them to become a successful solicitor.
All trainee solicitors must complete the Professional Skills Course (PSC) during their training contract and the PSC comprises two sections: Core and Electives. In addition to the PSC, you will attend a general induction to the firm, equipping you with the basic skills you need for the first day in your seat.
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