Tracking your training contract
I’m sure I was not the only one, after four years at University and one year on the LPC, to breathe a huge sigh of relief that exams were finally over. But, although official assessments have finished (other than the occasional PSC exam), your development is still monitored during your training contract… though it is not as bad as it sounds!
How do supervisors track your progress?
At Michelmores, trainees are expected to keep a training log. This involves making a note of the type of work you have completed, the skills involved, and what went well (and not so well). I usually try to update my training log at the end of each week, but sometimes this ends up being fortnightly if I’m particularly busy. Your supervisor will regularly review your training log and conduct seat reviews to ensure that you’re getting the exposure you need.
What is a training log used for?
Formally, the training log is there to help your supervisor and training principal confirm that you are meeting the SRA requirements to become a solicitor. However, reviewing your log also encourages you to take responsibility for your own development – it is a confidence boost to see that tasks that took hours and were daunting in the first week are now a lot easier and only worthy of a quick one-liner in your training log! The entries in your log are also invaluable when completing self-evaluation forms for your interim and end of seat reviews.
What are seat reviews?
Michelmores require trainees to officially meet with their supervisor once every three months for a mid-seat and end of seat review. In reality, we tend to meet more often – I try to book a less formal half hour catch up each month with my supervisor.
Seat reviews are a formal opportunity for feedback. However, due to the high level of responsibility that trainees are given, there are plenty of chances to gain informal feedback outside of the review. Provided you are seeking feedback on your work and meet regularly with your supervisor, the review is a helpful time to discuss your overall progress and performance. I find the mid-seat review particularly helpful for setting goals and objectives for the next three months; the end of seat review is then a good time to reflect on those goals and see how far you have come.
It's not actually that daunting…
Although the above mentions of reviews and progress-monitoring might seem unnerving, they need not be. One of the best things about a Michelmores training contract is that you feel supported throughout and the Firm really invests in your development. We are never made to feel like we are being watched or monitored and the review process genuinely feels like it is there to help us get the most out of our training contract.
If you have any questions on being a trainee please tweet us @MMTrainees