Trainee Blog - Beyond the Billable Hour
It may come as no surprise that the work of a lawyer goes far beyond the hours which are charged back to a client. From an early stage you will be required to get involved in various non-billable tasks in order to enhance your training experience.
Trainees at Michelmores are encouraged to take part in the Trainee Blog, which is what you're currently reading. This serves as a useful tool for reflecting on your experiences throughout the training contract, and giving advice and insight to prospective trainees.
In addition to the standard Trainee Blog, each team will typically get their trainees involved in article writing throughout the course of their seat. This may showcase some of the work the team has recently done, provide a legal update, or present an easy-to-understand guide to certain legal processes.
Michelmores as a firm encourages its teams to run regular knowledge sessions, to ensure that members are kept up-to-date on various legislative changes and case-law updates. These sessions also provide a forum for discussion, allowing the team to brainstorm potential implications of any legal changes which are not immediately obvious.
Many teams will encourage trainees to prepare and present at knowledge sessions during the course of their seat. This is an opportunity for you to become the expert on a particular issue, and develop both your research and presentational skills.
As part of the training contract process, you are required to keep a training record of various tasks or work that you get involved with. You will need to demonstrate a wide variety of work and tasks you have undertaken, in order to show how your experiences meet the outcomes set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for qualification purposes.
It is important to keep your training record up-to-date, and not leave it until the end of your seat. Otherwise, you may find yourself scratching your head wondering what the details were of work you did 6 months ago! The training record is not just a diary for you to fill out; it is an incredibly useful tool for self-reflection and development, an important skill to maintain throughout your career.
The SRA requires all trainees to complete the Professional Skills Course (PSC) during the course of the training contract. All trainees must complete the 3 core modules:
- Advocacy and Communication
- Client Care and Professional Standards; and
- Financial and Business Skills.
Michelmores usually gets trainees to complete these at the very start of the training contract in order to minimise interference throughout your first two seats, and it gives a great opportunity to bond with your trainee intake outside of the office.
Trainees must also complete 4 elective modules, and are able to pick from an assortment of choices. Typically, this will be in your 3rd and 4th seats, so that you are able to tailor your choices to the areas of law you're considering qualifying into. For example, by my 3rd seat I knew I was going to want to qualify into something contentious, so I picked Mediation and Civil Litigation Drafting.
If you'd like to know more about life as a trainee at Michelmores, please get in touch.