Name: Symrit Sidhu
Training Contract Start Date: 1 November 2021
Current Seat: Commercial Property
What was my route to securing my training contract?
After I had finished my A levels, I studied Law at the University of Leicester and then went on to study for the LPC MSc in Law, Business and Management at the University of Law. During my time at university, I attended open days at different firms, work placements and vacation schemes. I then worked as a paralegal at a different firm for 6 months in the noise induced hearing loss department (which is very different to what I do now!). I was then offered a role at BHW where I worked as a paralegal for 6 months before starting my training contract.
What is an average day as a trainee like?
An average day starts with reviewing emails and drafting any responses. This also continues throughout the day! My day will then involve different tasks, such as drafting documents, reviewing replies to enquiries and emails and drafting responses, and managing any matters that the fee earners have on by chasing on any outstanding enquiries or documents etc.
What do I enjoy most about my training contract at BHW Solicitors?
I mostly enjoy the variety of work that I get to experience within the Commercial Property department and the amount of exposure I get on different types of matters, due to being able to work closely with the partners and solicitors within the firm.
What seats have I completed so far and what have I gained from the different departments?
I am currently in my first seat which is Commercial Property. This seat has improved and continues to improve my confidence in communicating with clients, over both email and the phone. My drafting skills and understanding of the different aspects of the various property transactions have also improved.
Do you have much contact with clients?
I have a lot of client contact through emails and some client contact over the phone. Trainees are copied into most emails which are sent to clients, so that we have an overview of how the matters are progressing.
What has surprised you most about your trainee experience so far?
How much I have learnt and improved since I started my training contract and how much learning practically in a working environment has aided my knowledge from studying on the LPC.
What has been the highlight of your training contract so far?
The highlight of this first seat has been being able to see matters progress from opening the file to completion. This has aided my understanding and knowledge of what to look out for as the matter progresses and when certain tasks need completing. It has also been really fun working with 2 other trainees in the same department!
What is the culture of the firm like?
The firm has an open-door culture. Everyone is approachable and is willing to help. The people you work with make time to explain different things and help further your understanding of why you’re doing something. The people working at the firm want to help you in developing into a well-rounded solicitor.
What is my top piece of advice for those trying to secure a training contract?
If you really want to secure a training contract, then hard work and perseverance is definitely vital. It is also important to not just focus on gaining legal experience, as you can gain and develop a lot of skills required through your non-legal experience.
My advice would be to be yourself, to not give up and to ask questions. Working as a paralegal at a firm is really a chance to develop your skills and prove yourself.