Trainee solicitor, Natalie, reveals what life is like during her Devonshires training contract. Read her account of a typical day at this city law firm.
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Natalie Kent: Second-seat trainee solicitor at Devonshires
Departments to date: Housing Management & Property Litigation, Real Estate & Projects
University: Law at University of Exeter, 2:1 (Hons)
8.30am: Post Duty
Throughout our Devonshires training contracts, trainees undertake various duties, one of which is the opening of the firm’s post in the morning. This week I am on the rota alongside two other trainees.
As we are spread across different departments, this is a great opportunity to find out about the kinds of work we are all involved in at the moment.
9.15am: Look at my to-do list for the day
The work in this department is really broad and as I work for a few fee earners, it is important to prioritise accordingly to ensure everything is completed efficiently.
My first task for the day is to line everything up for a plot transfer completion. This involves checking that we have priority, checking we are in funds and giving the documents a final once over to ensure everything is as it should be.
I then arrange for the funds to be transferred to the seller’s solicitors and take their call to confirm completion. As trainees we get a lot of responsibility and are involved in all aspects of the transaction.
11am: Research Memo
Research is a key part of being a trainee and also really interesting as the research is often around fairly niche points, which nobody in the department has come across previously.
Today I am researching the searches available for Unexploded Ordnances for a partner who is working on a development site where this is a known issue.
One of the key benefits of being selected for a Devonshires training contract is that you get to work in different departments and you get to meet lots of different people. Today, I am meeting some of the paralegals who work in the department where I undertook my previous seat, so it’s a really good opportunity for a catch up with everyone.
2pm: Client Meeting
This afternoon I am due to attend a client meeting with my supervisor where we are discussing a new development they are looking to get involved in.
At Devonshires, trainees have a lot of client contact from the very start, which is a great way to build relationships and can be involved in all aspects of the transaction.
3.30pm: Report on Title
As a trainee in the Real Estate and Projects team we have our own sites which we deal with under the supervision of a partner. We are therefore responsible for the day to day running of the matter which includes the investigation and report on title at the outset.
5.30pm: Client Social
Tonight there is a joint social between Devonshires and one of our clients, which I have been helping to organise. This is a great opportunity to put faces to names of the people I have been working with during my time in the department.
Words: Natalie Kent
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