Daniel Blair recently started his two-year training contract at LA, after working in our Lender Services team within Real Estate. He shares his thoughts on working at LA, what made him apply for a training contract here and his hopes for his future career within the firm.
Please share with us your journey into law
I began to think about a career in law during my GCSEs, choosing subjects such as History to develop my transferable skills. I continued this path into my A-Levels, hoping my chosen subjects would gain me entry to a Law Undergrad at the University of East Anglia.
Instead, I attended Bournemouth University – maintaining the seaside aspect of my University choice! BU also gave me the opportunity to engage in a placement year at LA.
Tell us about your career/seats so far at LA
I joined LA in July 2019 as a Legal Assistant and completed a placement year within the Lender Services Team. I have worked across residential and commercial property matters in the team since this date, progressing from Legal Assistant to Paralegal and now Operations Coordinator.
I began my training contract in the Lender Services Team on 06 March 2023.
How does the seat system work at LA?
The trainees are all sent the available seats for the next six months. Each trainee must complete the form, ranking each seat in preference of which we would most like to do. This is sent back to the firm’s Training Principle with any reasons why we have selected our order. Closer to the beginning of the seat, an email is sent around confirming which trainee will be where.
What area of law do you enjoy the most / do you hope to qualify into? Has this changed?
I was originally attracted to clinical negligence due to the complexity and uniqueness of the area. However, after the years in property I have already spent, I would like to qualify back into this team.
What attracted you to the Lester Aldridge trainee scheme?
The attraction of LA was its reputation and the size of the firm. I enjoy working for LA and the idea of qualifying into the firm. A huge attraction to LA was also the growth I have witnessed personally and also those in the team around me. I have enjoyed my route so far and hope to continue to progress following my qualification.
How did you prepare for your trainee solicitor interview?
I was very fortunate to be surrounded by those who had either just completed the process or were also going through the process at the same time. I spoke to both successful and unsuccessful applicants to give myself the best possible preparation and to avoid any potential pitfalls!
What’s the best thing about training at LA?
The people. The support from all levels is brilliant, with everyone looking to ensure you can get the most out of your role, and people usually have time for all kinds of questions, ranging from specific legal queries or more general questions surrounding procedure or even development.
How would you describe the culture at LA?
Everyone is very friendly and keen to succeed. There is a big ‘wider team’ mentality, where it isn’t just about you or even your sub-team but how your work affects the group you are part of and the firm as a whole.
What are the development opportunities like at LA?
Development is a huge part of the LA culture. I know the partners and team leaders I work under have all been a part of LA for many years or decades in some cases! They highlight the importance of trying to grow long-term relationships both internally and with clients; therefore, developing and retaining staff is really important and encouraged.
Do you have tips for trainees just starting their training contracts?
Try to keep an open mind about your seat. It’s impossible for everyone to get their first choice every time, so try to keep a positive attitude for any seat. It’s also key to make your own judgement for your seat, everyone is suited to different roles, and your experience of a team will be very different to someone else’s.
Find out more
We are currently accepting applications for graduate training contracts starting in 2025. Find out more or apply here.