Name: Will Sperry
Training Contract Start Date: 5 July 2021
Current Seat: Commercial Property
What was my route to securing my training contract?
I graduated from the University of Nottingham with a 2:1 in Law in 2020. The following year I completed by LPC at Nottingham Trent University. I applied for a training contract at BHW in my LPC year and started here part time as a paralegal in March 2021, alongside my LPC studies. I was then offered and started my training contract in July 2021, a couple of months after I’d finished my LPC exams.
What is an average day as a trainee like?
My average day revolves around the activities of the fee earners in the department. A trainee’s role is to assist the fee earners, which can involve anything from drafting and reviewing documents to opening files. The matters that the department work on are so varied that no day is ever really the same!
What do I enjoy most about my training contract at BHW Solicitors?
The regular involvement that I’ve had with such a wide variety of matters. In Corporate and Commercial I was involved with the fee earners’ calls and meetings with clients and other professional advisers. This meant that I had a detailed understanding of many ongoing matters and could get involved with the drafting and reviewing of documents regularly. The involvement also meant that I was able to see a transaction develop from the outset to its conclusion which I really enjoyed.
What seats have I completed so far and what have I gained from the different departments?
I completed my first seat in the Corporate and Commercial department. I gained a lot of experience and developed plenty of skills during this seat. The main key skills that I’ve developed are attention to detail, drafting (both from precedents and free-drafting) and how to build and maintain client relationships.
Do you have much contact with clients?
I’ve had a good amount of contact with clients. In my Corporate and Commercial seat, I’d take meeting notes when the partner I was working with met with clients. This exposure is valuable and has helped me learn how to develop and maintain client relationships.
What has surprised you most about your trainee experience so far?
The level of responsibility that you’re given. A trainee’s job is to assist the fee earners and some of the time this will involve doing the admin jobs that would otherwise take up a large amount of fee earners’ time. However, I’ve been surprised with the amount of drafting work that I’ve been given and the other jobs that would ordinarily be the responsibility of a fee earner.
What has been the highlight of your training contract so far?
The highlight of my training contract so far was completing a re-finance and re-structure deal in my Corporate and Commercial seat. The deal had been ongoing for several months and was complex, involving multiple different parties. It was a great feeling when it got across the line and the clients were very appreciative of the good work we’d done as a department.
What is the culture of the firm like?
There’s a proud, family-like culture at the firm which stems from it being an independent Leicester-based law firm that’s grown organically over the last 19 years. We’ve also had a couple of staff parties over the last 6 months which helps you to get to know the people in other departments that you might not otherwise engage with often.
What is my top piece of advice for those trying to secure a training contract?
Brush up on your commercial awareness and do your research on the firm and the practice areas before applying/interviewing. If you’re already working as a Paralegal and want to secure a training contract, then my best advice would be to try and pre-empt what it is that the fee earners will ask you to do next. If you can get ahead and have already made a start/done a task without being asked, you’ll impress.
I would recommend applying for a training contract at BHW. The training standard is excellent and if you work hard, you’re well looked after.