Billy Shaw describes his first few weeks settling into the firm as a trainee solicitor in the commercial litigation department, from taking on his own cases to being involved in the firm’s networking events.
The first week in a new environment can be very daunting, I was feeling the nerves. However, the team immediately made me feel at home. On my first day, I was inducted, IT trained and introduced to most of the Lace Market team. I immediately felt the friendly atmosphere that initially attracted me to the firm as everybody was so welcoming and eager to help me settle in.
My first seat is in commercial litigation. From the first day I was tasked with the responsibility of assisting the team in a range of litigation matters across several practice areas. During my first week as a trainee solicitor I drafted letters, undertook legal research, attended client meetings, attended court, filed court documents and managed files. I have even opened my own case to run myself, which has given me the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the litigation process and exposed me to client contact which has allowed me to improve my communication and case management skills. I have had the opportunity to build a rapport with clients that has allowed me to deliver sensible advice and manage the client’s expectations. The level of responsibility I have been given immediately allowed me to develop my skills and get a feel for how the firm operates. I am enjoying my seat in commercial litigation as the work varies, the department is busy, and the process is fast paced. No two days are the same.
Work aside, I have been invited to get involved in several social events. During my first week I attended a client networking/quiz event at Revolucion de Cuba. Here I had the opportunity to mingle with some of the firm’s clients and meet some more of the team in a less formal setting, over a mojito and some excellent food. Another event that I attended was the Nottinghamshire Law Society Annual Beer Festival. I have also been encouraged to attend many other networking events, I am really looking forward to the NJLD New Trainees Reception where I will have the opportunity to mingle with other trainees from firms across Nottingham.
Being included and made to feel part of the team from such an early stage has allowed me to settle into the firm easily. The friendly atmosphere and lack of hierarchy is evident. I have been invited out to lunch with the partners of the firm that I am currently working with. I have found that the approachable attitude of everyone in my team has given me the confidence to ask for help when necessary.