Annabel Hollis, first-seat trainee solicitor, shares her experience of the Family team and starting her training contract remotely during the third national lockdown.
7:00: I wake up and eat breakfast whilst I scroll through my LinkedIn feed to keep up with the news and interact with interesting posts from my network. Keeping in the loop is even more important whilst face-to-face networking has temporarily been put on hold.
7:45: I spend the next hour or so in the fresh air which really helps my wellbeing. At the moment, I have an allocated hour at the stables where I keep my horse to prevent mixing of households, so I have to go slightly later than I would normally. Michelmores has been really flexible and understanding of everyone’s unique challenges during lockdown and until restrictions ease I start work at 9:30am.
9:00: I travel back home, have a quick shower and start up my work laptop.
9:20: I settle into my home office, filling up my water bottle whilst my computer signs in and loads the array of IT systems which make home working possible.
9:30: I spend the next hour sorting out a few small tasks for several members of the team. This includes calling several Chambers to enquire about Counsel availability for a couple of upcoming remote hearings. I also call the Court to chase the progress of a hearing that is due to be listed.
10:30: I start collating some updating financial disclosure. This involves going through multiple statements for our client’s bank accounts, pensions, investments and pay slips. It is a key exercise to ensure our client complies with their ongoing duty of full and frank disclosure throughout financial proceedings on divorce. I create an index so documents can be navigated easily by the court and the other side, and draft a cover letter for my supervisor to approve.
12:00: Lunch time! Most days I try to get outside for a quick walk.
13:00: I log back on, locate a MS Teams link from my outlook calendar to attend a remote final hearing judgment and take notes. The family courts have been operating predominantly online and via telephone during the pandemic. The judgment being delivered is on an international private children case I attended all day yesterday.
15:00: I review the notes I have taken and call my supervisor to update her on the outcome of the judgement. Counsel emails through the draft order, I proof read it and email her back with a minor amendment.
15:30: I make a start on drafting a Financial Consent Order for my supervisor using a precedent. I spend some time making sure the formalities are correct (case number, parties’ names, dates etc.) before I get stuck into the definitions and recitals.
16:15: I attend a virtual meeting with the Marketing Director, Head of HR and other 1st year trainees to catch up in an informal setting.
17:00: I finish off drafting the Financial Consent Order. I edit the precedent in tracked changes so virtual feedback with my supervisor tomorrow is more straightforward.
18:00: I sign off for the day, with a short commute down the stairs!