Trainee Seats: What to Expect – Employment

A seat in the Employment department of any law firm is one that is notoriously fought over by many a trainee solicitor. I would say it’s very easy to see why.

I have to admit that, for me, employment law was a love even before I joined the Michelmores’ Employment team as a trainee in September 2012. With an employment lawyer father, some might say that it is simply “in the blood”. I grew up observing my father in his study on Sunday afternoons, deliberating over cases. I was fascinated by his work and, as a self-confessed “daddy’s girl”, yearned to follow in his footsteps.

It’s fair to say that my experience in the Employment department has been everything I expected and more – so much so that I have continued to work in the department for a second seat. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a brilliant team who give me the support and encouragement to fulfil my potential and take on new challenges. I have been given the opportunity to get stuck in to some exciting cases and make a valid contribution to their progression.

No two days are the same in the Employment department. My workload is extremely varied. It can involve anything from assisting with disclosure on a big Employment Tribunal claim, to preparing a piece of urgent research, to advising on the terms of Compromise Agreement. I have had some great experiences, such as visiting an important London client to take witness statements, and representing another client at an Employment Tribunal Pre-Hearing Review.

Employment law practice blends together the excitement and uncertainties of litigation, along with the high pressure and fast turnaround of involvement in transactional work, such as corporate business sales. It’s certainly a challenging mix. The legislation underpinning this practice area is constantly on the move, being reformed and amended, and is currently going through a significant period of change.

I strongly believe that you need to love what you do, and that is certainly true for me. Every new challenge brings with it new learning opportunities and the chance to gain a firmer grasp on a vastly diverse and wide-ranging area of law. After years of quietly watching my father, I am now also sitting at my desk, deliberating over cases. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.