Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pressures of work as a trainee solicitor

Question

While I know the usual gripes on here that people cant get a training contract, im wondering if anyone is in the same boat as me, or similar anyway?
I am 8 weeks off qualifying, doing my final "seat" in employment law but at the same time i have a full conveyancing caseload that I have to deal with in any spare time i get (which is not much!) with no help. This week and next I have the final business part of the psc course to do including an exam, its the busiest time of year in conveyancing as everyone wants to move before Christmas and to top it all off, my partner runs his own business which i help out with on evenings and weekends and again this is our busiest time of year. Im tearing my hair out meeting myself backwards trying to get everything done i need to get done and on top of all that there’s Christmas shopping to do!
I know theres an end to this in that in 8 weeks time I'll finally be fully qualified and all this hassle will be over and I really shouldnt be moaning because theres loads of you out there without the elusive training contracts but i just wanted a rant! Bring on 23rd January when I'll be the happiest person alive!

Response:

I think that this is a great entry as it sums up exactly what is the harsh reality of a legal career! 8 weeks from qualifying, this person does not sound like he or she is on cloud 9! Unfortunately a lot of people start a legal career not really knowing what is going to happen once they qualify, and whether you are on the high street or in a city firm, working as a newly qualified solicitor can be just as much hard work as your training contract. Firstly, instead of just needing to do work and get it checked once finished (doesn’t always happen I know!) you take full responsibility as a solicitor for your work, which can put a lot of pressure on you. I find it quite astonishing how much pressure some firms put on their trainees as well – this is not unusual for firms to give a trainee a seat in one area of law, and expect them to continue with a caseload in another. If it gets so stressful you are finding it affects your health, speak to LawCare or the Trainee Solicitors Group. You will probably find plenty of advice and help on how to deal with this, particularly if you have an unreasonable caseload…

Jonathan Fagan – MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment – www.ten-percent.co.uk

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