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Trainee time - out of hours... make the most of it

25 March 2013

It is always a good idea to get involved in as much extra curricular activities as you can during your training contract. Your training contract is a very special time in your (hopefully) long legal career where you can test the waters, try out areas of law you know absolutely nothing about, expand your legal knowledge and question everything that you don’t quite understand without fear of being judged! It is also a time where hours and fee targets and pressures of more senior positions have not yet fallen at your feet so it is the perfect time to get involved in as many activities as possible.

Browne Jacobson is particularly well placed for the extra curricular activities that it encourages trainees to get involved in. Each employee of the firm is allowed to take 2 days per year to get involved in pro bono work in the local community and each year the firm sponsors a local charity and all fund raising efforts for the year are presented to the charity. This year Browne Jacobson has given its trainees the go ahead to complete a cycle challenge between all 5 offices – Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, London and Exeter. In addition, at the beginning of each trainee intake there is also a trainee ‘bonding day’ which usually involves the first and second year trainees taking a trip to a local park and clearing areas, digging ditches or making benches.

As well as the pro bono opportunities on offer, Browne Jacobson also has a firm choir, social committee, charity committee, touch rugby team, football team, running club and netball team. As captain of the netball team I would highly recommend getting involved in a team sport as it allows you to meet people from all positions all over the firm. The team play in a local league which includes other local law firm so it is also a great opportunity to meet with other legal professionals who, more often than not, you will have worked with on a transaction throughout your training contract.

Browne Jacobson also encourages and in fact pays for all of its trainees to become members of the Nottinghamshire Junior Lawyers Division which offers numerous opportunities to network and socialise with other local young lawyers and also an opportunity to become part of the NJLD committee. Elections are held every November and young lawyers are encouraged to submit manifestos for the committee position they are interested in, in advance of the election night. This year there are 7 Browne Jacobson trainees and young lawyers on the committee! As one of the 7 Browne Jacobson committee members I would highly recommend getting actively involved in your local committee, it allows you to meet lots of new people, take on new responsibility and helps you to remain up to date with any Law Society developments or big changes in the legal field which are fed back to local committees by each National Representative.
Getting involved in extra curricular activities has many benefits, from networking, fundraising, keeping active and building confidence to looking great on your CV. All of which helps to make trainees well rounded candidates for NQ positions…