Name: Courtney Kidney
Training Contract Start Date: 1 December 2022
Current Seat: Commercial Property
What is an average day as a trainee like?
A typical day will start with reviewing my emails, drafting responses and updating my to-do list. There is a high volume of emails in Commercial Property and so this will typically continue throughout the day. I then begin my tasks for the day which usually consist of drafting (contracts, leases, transfers, etc.), chasing outstanding information or paperwork and speaking with clients.
What do I enjoy most about my training contract at BHW Solicitors?
Having the opportunity to work in an open plan environment, directly with the firm’s partners. This level of exposure has really assisted in developing my legal knowledge as I am able to listen into technical conversations and brain storming sessions and ask questions with ease.
What was my route to securing my training contract?
I began my undergraduate LLB in 2015 and then my LPC immediately after graduating. I worked in a very small firm in Leicester City while studying for the LPC and applied for a paralegal role with BHW upon completion of the LPC.
I then worked at BHW in the residential property department for two years, before being invited to apply for the role of trainee solicitor. Following a successful interview, I was offered a training contract with the firm a short time later.
What seats have I completed so far and what have I gained from the different departments?
I have worked in residential property which is a very high volume and fast paced environment. My time in residential taught me how to prioritise work, balance my task list and manage my time – it’s an excellent seat for trainees to improve upon those crucial skills.
I have also worked in commercial property which is similar to residential in the respect that it’s still very much a high volume and fast paced environment, however, there are more variants to each transaction which has allowed me to work on the drafting of more legal documents thereby improving my attention to detail.
What is my top piece of advice for those trying to secure a training contract?
Don’t give up! I appreciate that that’s the most common phrase mentioned when discussing training contracts, but it’s common because it’s true. Becoming a solicitor isn’t easy, if it was, everyone would do it. Your path may differ to your colleagues but there is no set way. Just keep going, keep applying and keep improving.
What has surprised me the most about my trainee experience so far?
How quickly you learn and pick things up. My first week transitioning from residential to commercial property felt like a new job entirely. I began thinking that none of it would ever make sense, but then it very quickly began to. Having the opportunity to be a part of various commercial transactions from start to finish has been a fundamental part of this.
What advice would I give to someone who wants to apply for a training contract at BHW?
I would recommend researching and learning as much as you can about BHW. BHW is proud to be Leicester’s leading independent commercial law firm and proud of its roots therefore, it’s important that potential trainees recognise and share this outlook. Also, attention to detail!
What is the culture of the firm like?
Everyone is very approachable and helpful – I always feel that I can ask questions and, if anything, the partners encourage this and want you to gain as much exposure as possible.
The culture continues outside of work too, with an array of social opportunities. I enjoy joining the weekly running club for a jog round Everards and being afforded the opportunity to attend networking events such as those held by the Leicester Hotshots and Leicester Junior Lawyers. There’s also a monthly social at Everard’s for some after work drinks and catching up with colleagues.
Do you have much contact with clients?
In my seats so far, yes! I speak with clients everyday.
What has been the highlight of this seat/your training contract so far?
Working with Bev Merrell has allowed me the opportunity to work with high profile clients on very interesting transactions, such as the lease of a West End property for a household name. This kind of work definitely keeps things interesting and fun.