Shaping my Training Contract Part I - Litigation

Like many trainees (although by no means a pre-requisite), I gained experience working as a Paralegal prior to starting my training contract.

This has numerous advantages such as giving you an understanding of the day-to-day work of a law firm, building your legal and commercial knowledge and honing the competencies that are useful in any workplace such as communication and organisation. In addition, it has provided some initial exposure to different areas of law so I have been able to get a flavour of what I may like to do in practice.  

This is ideal at Michelmores, as the firm lets me shape my training contract around my interest in contentious work.

My first seat has been in the Commercial and Regulatory Disputes team. This has been thoroughly enjoyable as I have never worked in a purely contentious area of law before. Moreover, the matters have been really varied; ranging from IP infringement claims, to insurance disputes, to pursuing settlements in jurisdictions around the world.

My work on these matters has included document review, drafting correspondence, undertaking legal research and attending virtual hearings, among other tasks. I have been pulled in many different directions in this seat which has been invaluable and something I have really enjoyed. What is additionally encouraging is that there are further opportunities for contentious seats at Michelmores to provide me with more "pure" litigation experience such as Contentious Probate, Agriculture, Family and Property Litigation.

Balance

Whilst I know I have an interest in contentious work, I am keen to get a breadth of experience during my training contract and experience seats that undertake non-contentious work. To make an informed choice, it is definitely worth experiencing both sides of the coin.

As a full-service law firm, Michelmores is well set up to offer me this. We have a wide range of purely transactional seats within the Corporate and Transactional Real Estate teams as well as purely advisory seats such as the Tax, Trusts and Succession team. With an interest in litigation, I am particularly drawn to the variety of "split" seats available that can provide me with both contentious and non-contentious work. These include:

  • Employment;
  • Projects; and
  • Banking, Restructuring and Insolvency.

I remain open minded about the different areas of law available to experience during my training contract. My training contract has also taught me that it's ok not to be purely contentious or non-contentious, and it's also fine to start off thinking that you might be best suited to one area and end up changing your mind (that's the importance of the seat rotation process) – Michelmores allow me to shape my training contract around what interests me (even if that changes over time).

This approach is the best way to enable me to find the work I enjoy the most and will continue to enjoy upon qualification.