You’ve graduated university, completed your Legal Practice Course, and now you’re ready to put your skills and knowledge into practice in the real world – but what exactly does that entail?
Here are just 10 of the tasks you may not have realised fall under a trainee’s remit…
1. Legal research
Legal research is a big part of the job, with many tasks falling under its umbrella. This could range from a simple client query to an unusual technical issue encountered in a transaction, and will usually involve reading case law, statute, European law or technical notes.
This research will then flow directly to the team responsible for the issue or client and is likely to dictate how they respond, so it’s an important task!
You may not have realised your reading and writing skills would be put to the test this much, but trainees are regularly tasked with checking documents.
This goes a lot deeper than looking out for missing commas – if the details in a file aren’t right, it could jeopardise cases and lead to clients losing trust.
But don’t see it as boring – proofing documents as a trainee can be a great way to learn how they work and details they need to include, so you’re ready when you come to write them yourself.
3. Drafting meeting minutes and notes
One of the things you’ll learn as a trainee is to never go anywhere without a notepad and pen! On calls or at meetings, you may be asked to take minutes of what was said, when, and by who.
These are important documents as not only do they provide clear actions and next steps, but they can also be used as evidence should any disputes arise.
4. Business development
That’s right, you could play a vital part in helping the firm reach new clients. While you may not be totally client-facing as a trainee, you’ll regularly be asked to compile research for pitches, create charts or pull together information into a presentation.
It might not seem like much, but this can be a great window into how partners operate, and the processes followed.
5. Signature pages
To make things easier for clients in situations where numerous documents need signing, trainees will compile all the signature pages into one single document, along with clear instructions.
Some agreements will have different requirements, so it’s important that you pay attention and know your stuff to avoid confusion.
6. Due diligence
Usually, due diligence tasks will involve weeks of preparations to investigate all elements of an investment, stretching across hundreds of pages and many members of the team.
This can be a really helpful way to understand the client, the target company, and, if you’re new, the full process of an investment.
7. Preparing trial bundles
For this task you’ll need top organisation and communication skills, as well as a good eye for detail. Preparing a trial bundle involves collating all necessary documentation for the Court to enable them to understand the issues and to make a determination of those issues.
Whilst it is necessary to only include documentation relevant to the issues in hand, duplication and large amounts of unnecessary documents can waste the court or tribunal’s time, and can leave the judge particularly unimpressed.
8. Events and recruitment
Good news – trainees aren’t chained to their desks. In fact, it’s very common for you to spend time away from the office networking, attending events and even giving presentations at careers events.
These are all great ways to expand your contacts, get to know clients and learn new things.
9. Developing industry knowledge
As a trainee, you’re always learning – whether it’s tricks of the trade or taking the time to understand your clients’ industries.
Don’t be afraid to ask those around you questions when you get the chance – they were once in your shoes, too!
10. Getting to grips with acronyms
Do you know your FCA from your CPR? Possibly not yet, but it’s important that you do.
It’s a fast-paced world, and trainees need to be up to speed with the jargon and lingo of the profession, so you know what to do and when.
Meet our current trainees: