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Qualification and starting as a second year trainee

18 September 2013

Following what has been a fairly busy 3 months working across two Property departments, it is the time of year when all the trainees move on, one way or another. The good news has been that the second year trainees (who will be qualifying very soon) have all obtained jobs within the Firm, and I’m sure it will be nice to have them around to boss us about as NQs! To celebrate, the trainees will be out for a qualification meal in Nottingham in September, which is a chance to catch up and congratulate those who have qualified (with a few glasses of something sparkling).

For first year trainees, we are moving into our third seat. A lot is said about the third seat being the most significant, as people often qualify into this seat. Perhaps this is because this is the first seat where trainees get first choice (amongst their peers of course) of the seat they wish to be in (rather than selecting after the second year trainees as with the previous two seats), or because after a year, you are more comfortable and knowledgeable about the way the firm works, and the type of work you will be doing on a day to day basis. In a way, it is important not to attach too much importance to this third seat, it is as significant as any other in your training contract; however it should also be seen as an opportunity to work in a department that really interests you, as you have the best chance so far of being given the seat as first choice. Personally I am looking forward to working in professional negligence, as it is a litigation seat which is quite different to the contentious work I have done in the Real Estate/Construction sphere previously.

Part of the preparation for the ‘move’ is to get the files you are working on as ready as possible for the person following you into your seat. This is always challenging, as pulling together the knowledge you have on the file and trying to summarise it succinctly for another is always a challenge, but a welcome one. The benefit of working here is also that supervisors are generally happy for you to go and talk your successor through the files you have handed to them to help them better understand it, which makes it easier for the person inheriting it. It will be strange putting most of my desk into a cardboard box and returning to the first floor, but September should be seen as a time for some positive changes, and hopefully the next 6 months will be something to look forward to for all the trainees, now the cricket season has finally passed (sadly without a win). Still, better luck next year.