Trainee Seats: What to Expect – Education

Where have the last 6 months gone? I can’t believe as I’m sat here writing this blog I only have three more days left with the Projects team before heading back to Bristol to do my final seat in Private Client. I think even more frightening and exciting is the fact that in 6 months’ time I will be a qualified solicitor!

As my last blog, (A change of scenery and a trip to HOYS!) focussed on the PFI/PP side of the department, I thought I would give you a little insight into what the Education team do, particularly as the majority of my seat has been working alongside them.

The team currently acts for over 130 education institutions including maintained schools, church schools, academies and free schools, as well as innovative Multi-Academy Trusts. The majority of the team’s workload is academy conversions and the establishment of free schools. Often the academies and free schools then join a Multi-Academy Trust.

Both academies and free schools have to be set up as companies limited by guarantee so I have been responsible for the company incorporations which often have to be completed within a specific time frame. This has meant that I have had to draft the necessary company forms, Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association. I have also had the opportunity to draft other documentation that is needed as the conversion progresses, such as the Funding Agreement and Commercial Transfer Agreement.

In any seat you can expect to be given a fair amount of legal research and I have been lucky enough to have produced research notes that have ended up being used in articles and as legal updates on our website, such as the legal update on the procedure for banning a parent from school premises.

As regular readers will be aware, Michelmores expect their trainees to get heavily involved in marketing and during this seat I was definitely thrown in at the deep end. I have been responsible for ringing target clients to try to arrange meetings for members of the team in the hope that they instruct Michelmores. Believe me; I probably sat staring at my phone for half an hour before plucking up the courage to make the first call! After you have done a few it really does get easier and the team seem to think  that I am very good at this – something I would never have dreamed as being one my skill sets.

Alongside this I have been successfully arranging informal meetings with clients the firm has acted for and have been along to a number of these. It has been great to see different academies and free schools thriving and to see first-hand how their new found freedoms are being utilised, particularly as prior to starting this seat I didn’t have a particularly positive opinion of academies as I associated them with failing schools.

I can honestly say I have thoroughly enjoyed my time down in the Exeter office and the time spent down here has been invaluable.

But….on a lighter note….what am I going to do without the gym??? Perhaps that could be the next development for the Bristol office, or perhaps that is wishful thinking!!