So my 'Day in the Life' blog has been a bit quiet this year. In fact I haven't posted one at all in 2015. The reason for this, as I think all trainees will appreciate, is that as your caseload grows and you begin to take your first steps as a solicitor you simply do not have the time to focus on less urgent work - such as blogging. And the more trained you become, the more the urgent work seems to pile up.
This is it, then, my last ever blog post as a trainee. My training contract ends this month and then I shall be awaiting admission to the Roll of Solicitors, which will likely be in October. Until that time I shall occupy a curious limbo wherein shall be both a solicitor and not a solicitor.
But fear not - the young pretender Ryan Dewar has already started filling the vacuum with his original and clear voice. If you haven't yet read his account of the first Court hearing he attended, do; it's fresh and funny – and he managed to still get the Order he was seeking, in stark contrast to my first hearing. Ryan will be starting as a trainee in September along with Holly Ramsey, both possessing energetic and enterprising legal minds who I am certain will be cutting their teeth much more efficiently than me...
So what have I learned over the last 20 months? What wisdom can I pass on to those who hope to complete a training contract? To be completely honest, I'm not sure. It will really depend on the individual and the firm. I suppose I would say get to know the team around you - what the senior members value, what they appreciate, and always be willing to help. But more than that, have a positive attitude. Embrace the work and try to find something interesting about even the most mundane tasks. Take a broad view of the firm, and don't forget that it is not like a company - one day you might actually own it and so start treating the firm's resources with respect, as if they have been bought from your own pocket. It seems strange but even things like not wasting stationery will give you a different attitude that the senior staff will appreciate.
I am extremely pleased to also be able to announce (boast) that I have recently been shortlisted for Junior Lawyer of the Year at this year's prestigious Law Society awards. I don't expect to win - there is some seriously impressive competition in my category - but I would just point out that I am the only trainee in the shortlist. My inclusion is down to two things: the support offered by Giles Wilson, which has been absolutely superb (I see the envy in the eyes of my fellow LPC students when I describe the sort of cases I am handed by the partners); and my approach to training as described above. I reiterate that I am certainly not special and so I must conclude that my having been shortlisted must simply be due to the effect of a positive mental attitude.
So in summary, thank you for following my blog, and for those who have instructed me thank you for your instructions.