Transition from education to Training Contract

Throughout University and the Legal Practice Course (LPC), obtaining a training contract (TC) seemed the most daunting aspect of this career. This soon changed to the transition from full-time studying to full-time working in a firm.

After finishing my LPC I was lucky to obtain a paralegal position, but I was only in this role for 2-3 months before I started my training contract with Woodfines. The first month of my training contract was overwhelming as I felt I had so much to learn transitioning into the working world, let alone the pressure and expectations of a training contract itself.

These are my top-tips to anyone who transfers from full-time education straight into their training contract:

  1. In my first seat I soon became well aware how important it is to manage your own time. At University and on the LPC you have set timetables and deadlines, so you know how to plan your time well. Throughout your TC this is not so. You are in charge of your own calendar and time and so it is vital you handle your time well so you can meet deadlines and expectations.
  1. If you have time, definitely apply for work experience at the firm you have applied to. I was very fortunate to have completed a week’s work experience with Woodfines in 2017 and this is why I knew this was the firm I wanted to qualify with. It helped me with exposure to working in a law firm and also made starting my TC slightly less daunting as I had already met some of my lovey colleagues.
  1. If you are in a seat that you do not think you will qualify into, make sure you still give it your all and do your very best. You will definitely learn transferable skills that you may use in your other seats and once you have qualified.
  1. Throughout University and the LPC, all tasks you are given are in written form. You may not be given written tasks during your TC, so it is very important to take detailed notes for everything you are asked to carry out. You will not be expected to complete every task correctly the first time, but I learnt within my first six months how important it is to research efficiently and making sure you give the task a go.
  1. As scary as it may be and as much as you may want to impress, it is important to ask questions on the task you have been given if you do not fully understand. There is nothing worse than spending hours researching and drafting thinking you have done a good job, when in fact you have misunderstood the task.
  1. It may feel daunting starting your TC straight from education or with little experience working in a firm, but in reality it is an amazing opportunity. It is important to not allow yourself to become overwhelmed and to remember most of your colleagues have also been trainees at some point too.
  1. If you can, you should definitely get involved in networking and visiting all of your firms’ offices. It is important to get your name and face out there, within your firm and working area. After all, you want to impress as many people as you can and grow your network!
  1. The most important tip of them all, have fun and enjoy!

I am now currently in my second seat and really loving my Training Contract.

 

Olivia Robinson 

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