How to get Involved in Wider Activities as a Trainee at JMW

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How to get Involved in Wider Activities as a Trainee at JMW

I started my training contract with the Manchester office in September 2023. My first seat is in the Clinical Negligence team. Prior to commencing my training contract, I was a paralegal in the Court of Protection department.

Truthfully, I felt a jump of responsibility when I moved from being a paralegal to a trainee. Many of you will expect that it was due to an increase in work responsibility but, I felt the most noticeable jump in increased responsibility came from my own want to took part in the opportunities JMW has to offer. Participating in different activities has helped me ensure that I maintain a work-life balance, whilst also increasing my network at JMW.

Social clubs

Whether you want to run off a hard day’s work or bury your head in a book, JMW has a social club that would work for you. There are various sports teams such as a netball team, men’s football, and a woman’s football team. The teams often take part in tournaments to raise money for charity. Joining in a sports team would allow you to utilise your team skills whilst keeping fit at the same time! Alternatively, JMW’s book club allows members to vote for their book of the month and enables a healthy debate between colleagues.

Taking part in any social club allows you to mix with other departments and colleagues at all stages in their carer. The clubs welcome anyone, from beginners to professionals. If you cannot find a club for you, JMW is always open to new suggestions!

Organised fun

As a JMW Trainee, you are invited to a monthly trainee lunch. Before the talk you will receive topics to discuss such as, how to use LinkedIn and the chance to catch up with your fellow cohort. It is important to utilise the chance to mix with other trainees, which allows you to compare seats and support each other throughout your intense training process. First year trainees are also assigned a second-year buddy to help guide you on this new chapter. A good start to building the relationship is to ask your buddy for a coffee date. Your buddy will be able to answer your questions and may even help you expand your network by introducing you to their friends.

In Clinical Negligence, we are given the opportunity to sign up for webinars provided by experts on various topics. This has allowed me to expand my knowledge in a new seat. Likewise, JMW offers access to MBL webinars, which provides you with an opportunity to focus on and learn more about what types of law interests you.

We cannot leave out the two biggest organised JMW events of the year… the summer and winter do! This is another great way to meet those in different departments or even those from a different branch of JWM.

Volunteering / charity work

JMW focus on maximising their corporate social responsibility (CSR). This year, trainees were given the challenge to compete against other cohorts by organising activities using the startup fund provided by JMW. The goal was to raise funds for the chosen charity, We Love MCR. The rules were simple – whoever makes the most money wins. The challenged encouraged creativity and helped us to learn what our colleagues’ strengths and weaknesses were.

JMW are linked with various charities across Manchester who are always in need of volunteers. JMW provides each employee with two days for CSR. As such, why not sign up to volunteer at Manchester Refugee Support Network, which gives you the chance to provide essential advice and support to those who are going through a difficult time. Taking part in this role allows you to use your skills as a trainee to help others.

Charity work can even be done within your own department. Most departments host or attend various charity events throughout the year, mainly for charities linked to their area of law. There is always an opportunity to get a seat at the table or offer to volunteer at the event such as, by selling raffle tickets.

Top Tips on how to take part

Be confident

It can be intimidating signing up to webinars or charity events alone, so why not ask a friend to sign up with you? Remind yourself that these clubs and events are open to everyone at all levels, including you.

Be resilient

Asking a partner to go for a coffee could result in them turning you down due to their busy schedules, however, do not take this personally or give up. Why not suggest an alternative date or see if a phone call would be more suitable for them.

Be yourself

Some say that the training contract is a two-year interview. Don’t let this idea pressure you into taking part in activities you do not enjoy, this mistake could lead to a burn out by taking on too much without getting too much in return. Prioritise what interests you the most and do it. You will then likely meet people the most suited to your own interests. By taking part in activities you enjoy with people you like spending time with, it will break up your work week and level out the work-life balance.

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