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A day in the life of a trainee...

1 July 2011

I arrive in the office and, once my computer has woken up, the first thing I do is check my emails; as I spent yesterday in London at a hearing at the RCJ I need to check if anything urgent or unexpected has popped up in my absence. I respond to a few brief queries, write out a to-do list for the day and update my supervisor on a few developments on some of the cases I am assisting her on.

Before making a start on my to-do list I sit down to dictate an attendance note on the hearing that I attended yesterday. As the case is quite a complex one, it was a lengthy hearing and I need to ensure that the record we hold for it as accurate.

I receive a call from a client to confirm that they are happy with the proposed date we have provided for an upcoming mediation on their matter. I set aside working through my to-do list and focus on finalising details for the mediation as this is a priority.
After confirming the mediation dates with my supervisor, I contact the other parties who will attend the mediation in order to agree the details for the day itself and to discuss any matters that are outstanding and will need to be clarified or agreed before everyone sits down together at the mediation. It’s a good opportunity to introduce myself and explain that I am assisting my supervisor on this matter, as I will attend the mediation myself and will be heavily involved in all the preparation for it.

I am on the Sports and Social Committee (SSC) for the firm’s Birmingham office and at lunch I join the rest of the committee for a lunchtime meeting to discuss the events we have planned for staff for the year ahead, which range from charity sport events to wine tasting!

On returning to my desk I find that a lengthy witness statement of one of our clients that I dictated previously has been returned by our secretarial pool. Once I have checked it through to ensure I am happy with it and my supervisor has approved it, I send it to the client via email for his comments, reminding him of the date it needs to be returned by and giving him a general update of how things have progressed on this matter since we last spoke.

My supervisor and I set aside some time to discuss the developments during yesterday’s court hearing and how we should proceed from here. I am familiar with this case and I am able to demonstrate to my supervisor that I have considered how to proceed and what steps I will take to assist progress; Browne Jacobson is known for giving their trainees a chance to show initiative and encourages them to actively think about the progression of cases they are assisting on.
We set out a ‘to do list’ for the next few months; it involves quite a few large tasks, such as disclosure and drafting witness statements, so I’m going to be very busy!

I spend the rest of the afternoon examining documents that we have received from the client in order to create our list of documents for disclosure. Whilst dealing with disclosure is not a favourite task for many trainees, it is a great opportunity to build up an in-depth knowledge of the matter you are working on and spot any potential issues, particularly for the complex cases we tend to work on in Professional Indemnity.

Tonight the SSC have organised a staff trip to the local comedy club; as I helped to organise this event I head down to the venue on-time to ensure everyone is fed, watered and happy. Events like these are a great chance for people from different teams to catch up and as Browne Jacobson is such a friendly firm social events are always popular!