A Day in the Life of a Trainee

I am a trainee in the Bristol office, currently in my second seat in the agricultural property team. Although every day in this seat is different, I've set out a typical day below.

8:45 - I arrive at the office, have a quick catch up with colleagues and look at my emails and to-do list for the week. As a trainee, I have the opportunity to work with most of the fee earners in my team ensuring I get a broad range of work. A to-do list is a must to keep on top of the different tasks.

9:00 - Every morning we are sent Knowledge Updates which contain useful articles and cases that relate to the area of law that you are working in. These can help you keep up to date with any changes.  This morning I receive a case summary on Dobson v Griffey [2018], which is about a proprietary estoppel and constructive trust claim and I make a note to discuss this case with a Partner as I think it will be topical for some of our key clients.

9:15 - I start reviewing my draft of an attendance note I made during a client meeting, which I attended with a Partner, and I make a note of the points that I need to action following the meeting. I am lucky enough to have had a high level of client exposure so far and attend client meetings regularly.

10:30 - One thing I have learnt as a trainee is that you never know quite how your day will pan out! I receive an email from the Exeter Office, asking to assist on a matter by filing some documentation at Court. I know that timing is key on this task and prioritise this by sorting out the documentation to be filed when I get the go ahead.

11:00 - I then attend a client meeting regarding a farming partnership dispute. In the meeting I take a detailed attendance note and deal with the documentation brought in by the client for our file. During the meeting it becomes apparent that we require further information and I offer to contact the relevant people to obtain this. Once back at my desk, I send the required emails and copy the Partner in so they are aware of the progress. 

13:00 - Once a week, in my team, we have lunch time training sessions. One of the perks of lunchtime training sessions is that the firm put on a really good lunch for us. Today we are having a talk on drafting Farm Business Tenancy Agreements. Trainees attend all these sessions and they prove to be very useful. As a trainee you also get the opportunity to lead one of these knowledge meetings yourself. I gave a case law update to the rest of the team with one of the other trainees, Helen, which was a great way to practice my presentation skills. 

14:00 - In light of the training session, I decide it is a good time to look at a drafting task I have been given to amend a Farm Business Tenancy Agreement. However, I then get the go ahead from the Exeter Office to file the documentation at the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre. I am told this needs to be done asap, so I run over to the Court with the documents.

15:00 - Back in the office, I am asked to do an urgent bit of research. I know I need to prioritise this because the client needs the advice as soon as possible. As a trainee in my team, research tasks are a fairly normal assignment to undertake.  These can help broaden your knowledge and enable you to learn about unusual areas of law you might otherwise not come into contact with. I produce a report setting out my findings and considering any practical advice we can give the client.

16:00 - I look through my emails and reply to those I can and add any tasks to my to-do list.

17:00 - I get invited to a court hearing tomorrow to sit behind counsel. I start preparing for the hearing by getting up to speed with the file.  I have had several opportunities in my first two seats to attend court hearings. I have also attended the first week of a trial, which has been one of my favourite parts of my training contract so far.

17:45 - Home time! Michelmores has enabled me to maintain a good work/life balance as a trainee and tonight I have a yoga class, so I leave the office for this.

If you have any questions, please tweet us @MMTrainees.