I am a trainee solicitor currently doing my first seat in the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence team.
8.50 am – I log on to my computer and look through my inbox. I will see what emails have come in since logging off the evening before and make a note of anything that might need action. I will check my diary for any appointments. I also my supervisor’s diary for any upcoming deadlines to see if there is anything I need to start working on to meet these deadlines. I can then work out what needs to be prioritised for the day.
9.00 am – We currently have a case with an upcoming court deadline. The court order requires all the parties to file and serve a list of documents for disclosure. Yesterday, my supervisor asked me to review the file and prepare the list in light of the upcoming deadline. I have not worked on this file before as I have only recently started my seat, so I take time to look through the full file, review the documents on the file and understand the position. As this is my first time doing this task, I do some research to find the correct court form in which to complete the list of documents for disclosure.
11.00 am – In my department we hold a team meeting every week via zoom. This is really important whilst everyone is working from home so we all keep in touch regularly. We usually discuss things such as billing, marketing ideas, ideas for upcoming blogs or articles, and capacity across the team. This is a good opportunity for me to learn more about what other team members are working on and to offer assistance where it is needed. There will be some weeks that our team meetings are in the form of a training session. For example, a couple of weeks ago we had a training seminar from Kain Knight on costs.
12.00 pm – I continue with the task that I started this morning. I finish drafting the list of documents for disclosure and send this to my supervising partner for review.
12.30 pm – I usually take my lunch break at this time. As I am currently working at home I try to get outside for a 30-minute walk on my lunch break.
1.30 pm – I return to my desk and see what emails have come in whilst I have been away from my desk and if there is anything that I need to urgently attend to. I respond to a couple of emails received from colleagues and clients.
1.40 pm – This afternoon I have two calls scheduled with two witnesses to take information so that we can prepare witness statements to support our clients’ case. I spent time yesterday afternoon familiarising myself with this matter and liaising with my supervisor as to the questions that I should be asking on the calls. I spend this twenty minutes finalising reading through the file ahead of my schedule calls and making some final notes.
2.00 pm – I have my call with the first witness and this takes approximately 30 minutes. I then write up the full attendance note of the call so that I have an accurate note.
2.45 pm – I check my inbox and note a couple of emails that I have received that are to be actioned after my second call. I respond to a couple of emails received from colleagues and clients.
3.00 pm – I have my call with the second witness which again takes approximately 30 minutes and then spend about 15 minutes typing up the full attendance note. Tomorrow, I will draft the witness statements and send them to my supervisor to check.
3.45 pm – My supervising partner has suggested some small amendments to the list of documents for disclosure that I drafted this morning. I make the necessary amendments and send this back for a final review.
4.00 pm – I respond to a few more emails received and then move on to my next task. My supervisor has asked me to draft a Letter of Instruction to an expert. In personal injury and clinical negligence cases, obtaining expert evidence is very important. In this case we have instructed a number of experts and there is one final expert to instruct. I also need to collate a number of the expert reports that we have already obtained to send with the Letter of Instruction. Once the letter is drafted and I have collated the documents, I send this to my supervising partner for checking.
4.45 pm – On one of our matters, the parties have recently agreed on a settlement. My supervisor has asked me to draft the consent order to be filed at Court to reflect this. I locate a precedent and draft the document. I then send this to my supervising partner for review.
5.15 pm – Earlier today we received an email from the defendant’s solicitors on a matter. They sent us two letters and a witness statement in support of their client’s defence, so I take time to read through what has been received. They are requesting some further documents and have raised further questions for our client to answer. I prepare a draft email to our client covering all the key points and requesting further documents, and send this email to my supervising partner for review.
5.45 pm – My supervising partner has now approved the list of documents for disclosure that I have been working on today. I send this on to the client for review and approval.
5.55 pm – I update my training log with the work that I have done today. All trainee solicitors are required to demonstrate that they have developed and applied various practice skills throughout the course of their training contract. To keep a track of this, the firm requires us to complete a daily log of the tasks that we have completed so we have a record. It is important that this is updated daily otherwise it can be very time-consuming to catch up on. This is a good opportunity to reflect on the day and what I have learnt.
6.10 pm – Before I log off I ensure that my task list is updated for the next day and that my time recording is complete.
6.15 pm – I usually log off around this time, depending on the day and the workload.
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The window for applying for training contracts starting in 2023 is open from 1st April – 30th June 2021. You can read more about graduate training contracts at Lester Aldridge here.