In at the deep end

Finally, my big day arrived.

After months of excitement, apprehension and the dawning realisation that my evenings will never be mine again (and so binging on every TV series going), I entered my first seat as a Trainee Solicitor at Wallace Robinson & Morgan Solicitors.

Anna Hughes, Trainee Solicitor

Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)

And just to add to the mix.

My big first day coincided rather dauntingly with my first weekend at the University of Law, beginning my Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).

Somewhat unconventionally I am studying for my GDL (and eventually LPC) alongside a part-time study training contract. Iím definitely thrown in the deep end.

I currently have no previous legal qualification. Oh, and it turns out my Geography degree only takes me so far!

Blessed with patient, brilliant colleagues

Iíve already learnt that where you work and who you work with can make a big difference.

I was happy in my previous role at Wallace Robinson & Morgan but now the chips really are down.

I have worked as a Practice Management Assistant in the firm for the last 2 years. So Iím crossing my fingers that sub-consciously all the Ďlegal speakí I have previously nodded along to has somehow sunk in to the recesses of my brain. Iím sure it will miraculously reappear when I most need it.

I am so lucky to have colleagues with patience and teaching skills in abundance. They have been brilliant at speaking slowly and making sure I always have a legal dictionary to hand.

This is the essential support system every trainee needs; you need to learn from the best to become the best.

Learning from my new best friends

Already I have discovered that my new best friends are called Westlaw and PLC.

Iíve learnt that the module at university about how to read case law is actually worth listening to - even if it does seem obvious.

The theory that cups of tea calm even the most emotionally-fuelled client meetings is true, and that the book ĎThe Yes Maní really should have been written about a trainee solicitor.

So, one month in

A month in and I can honestly say that I have learned a huge amount.

Not just about family law - where my first seat is - but also about what I can expect for my future legal career.

A 4 year part-time study training contract (combined with the mammoth workload that a law degree seems to generate) makes one month seems like a drop in the ocean.

However as long as the remaining 47 months follow in a similarly enjoyable manner, I can be sure that the long slog ahead will be more than worth it.

Are you following along?

Iím sure that my experiences will help others who are thinking of, or about to take the same (or at least a similar) journey as me.

Follow my blog every month to read what trials and tribulations I come up against over the course of my training contract.

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