Diary of a Corporate Trainee Solicitor

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Diary of a Corporate Trainee Solicitor

8.45am: I arrive at the office and after catching up with the rest of the team (as an Arsenal fan this usually involves me getting some stick because of the weekend’s result), I get settled for the day. I check my emails and go over my to-do list.

Whilst checking my emails, I note the Senior Partner (Joy Kingsley) has emailed to inform us, that once again we have been ranked as one of the best companies to work for and to celebrate, the firm has bought cupcakes and placed them in the kitchen areas on each floor, at all our offices. I love a cupcake, so I grab mine before they are all gone.

9.00am: I usually start my day by getting some of the smaller jobs off my to-do list. Therefore, I make calls to chase up/get an update from Companies House and HMRC on a couple of matters. Once updated, I dictate the file notes and let the various fee earners know. Due to some of the updates I’ve received, I also draft emails to the various clients and forward to my supervisor for approval, who says that they are fine to send out, which I do.

10.00am: I head off to a meeting with the rest of the second year trainees; we are competing against the first years in the traditional annual JMW ‘Accumulator’ challenge. This involves both years being given a £100 budget, to raise as much money as they can for JMW’s charities of the year, within the month.

We brain storm ideas and plan the next steps. Although both years get on really well, we’re a competitive bunch and we certainly do not want to lose, especially as we won the challenge when we were first years!

10.30am: With the meeting over I head back to my desk. I’ve been working on a Shareholders’ Agreement for one of our clients and I need to take further instructions on a couple of points. I call the client to take instructions and give them an update in regards to the progress of the matter as well.

11.00am: I head off with the head of department to a meeting on the sixth floor (this is where some of our client meeting rooms are). We have been instructed by a football agent to prepare a Shareholders’ Agreement, draft new Articles of Association and carry out a few other ancillary tasks, in relation to their sports management company. We talk through the next steps and clarify the various points that have arisen so far, with the client. As a trainee at JMW, you are given a good level of responsibility, so I had the chance to have a go at doing the first draft of the documents. Having a background knowledge of the documents, allows me to take a more active role in the meeting, which I enjoy.

1.00pm: The meeting ends and I head back to the office to drop off my notes, before meeting with some colleagues from a different department and heading off for lunch at one of the local restaurants, to make use of our staff discount card.

2.00pm: I get back in the office and look over any emails that have come through, in the time that I’ve been away. I’ve had a few through but nothing urgent.

2.10pm: As I’m about to crack on with the rest of my to-do list, an Associate walks over and asks if I can help with the preparation of some Written Resolutions that need to go out today. I take instructions and draft the resolutions, along with some other ancillary documents.

3:40pm: I’ve finished drafting the documents, which are ready to be sent out now. So I’m free to get back to my to-do list but just as I do, I see a reminder pop up on screen, for a conference call meeting in 15 minutes (it is with the other side and we are going to negotiate the last few points of an SPA on a high value deal).

3:45pm: I quickly scan through the notes I had prepared yesterday, so I have as much knowledge as possible of the issues that will be argued. The call will be led by a Partner and Associate from our team, so this is a great opportunity for me to sit in and gain experience.

4:00pm: I head off to the internal meeting room with the Partner and Associate, as we dial in to the conference call. It is fascinating to watch the exchanges between both sides, as we look to get the deal across the line. After a lot of back and forth, we get to a position where both sides are happy, subject to approval from our respective clients. The call has been a great learning experience for myself.

5:10pm: I get back to my desk, where I have a de-brief with the Partner and we discuss the thought behind some of the amends, as well as the next steps in this matter. I update my to-do list accordingly. 

5.20pm: An email marked with high importance comes in from one of the Associates, asking if some quick urgent legal research can be carried out regarding the transmission of shares. I carry out the research and report back to the Associate.

6.00pm: I update my to-do list for tomorrow, so I am well prepared, even if I might not get all the way through it (the upside to working in a fast paced corporate team, you’ll never be short of work).

At JMW there is a great emphasis on networking, regardless of what level you are at. I have been elected the Chair of the Manchester Trainee Solicitors Group (MTSG) and this evening we have an event. As usual, JMW will be well represented at the event and I meet in reception with the other trainees and paralegals, who will be attending and we head off to the event together.

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