A day in the life of a trainee solicitor
A day in the life of a trainee solicitor:
I am nearing the end of my first seat as a trainee in the Corporate and Commercial (CoCo) team and, as Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP (Rix & Kay) adopts a more hybrid style of working, the following is an experience of a day when physically in the office.
I arrive into the office and get myself set up for the day ahead. I look at my emails and see whether anything urgent has come in overnight or, if documents we are waiting for from a client have arrived. I highlight urgent items to complete from my to-do list and make a start taking advantage of the quiet time before something else requires my attention.
One of my tasks for the day is to prepare what are known as ancillary documents to a transaction. Our client is undergoing a refinancing and the refinancer has placed certain conditions to deliver specific documents. This is important as without them our client is unlikely to be granted the funding it needs to undertake its business activities. I am entrusted to prepare the first drafts of stock transfer forms, shareholder resolutions and board meeting minutes on behalf of our client approving the transaction and Companies House forms that we will file once the transaction is complete.
I have a short break and make myself a cup of coffee and take the opportunity to chat to other colleagues in the office whom I seldom see face to face due to changes in working styles resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
I sit in on a face to face meeting between a partner and solicitor who review a list of live matters and exchange ideas on what needs to be done, by when and by whom. I listen and understand the context in which these transactions are occurring and learn more about the clients’ expectations. It is beneficial as I observe both colleagues go back and forth to arrive at solutions to certain obstacles in these matters. I write down as much as possible and take the opportunity to ask questions to consolidate my understanding.
I receive a call from a partner within the CoCo team letting me know a previously abortive share sale transaction is now likely to resume after a year’s hiatus. I am instructed to review the file which contains historically-drafted documents and then report back on what needs to be done to progress the matter to completion as the client requests this is done as quickly as possible. I print off the draft share purchase agreement and begin highlighting potential amendments that can be made. I then read a practice note on share purchases on Practical Law encouraging me to think about what other documents we will need to facilitate the transaction. I prepare a note to the partner explaining the current state of the matter, potential amendments and updates we can make and the next steps to think about when going back to the client.
Time for lunch, and as I am based in our Sevenoaks office, I take advantage of the nice weather and eat at a bench in a small public garden before popping into a dainty patisserie for a large cup of coffee to take back to the office for the afternoon.
As the CoCo team spans two of our offices and a number of us work from home on a regular basis, we make it a routine to touch base briefly through Microsoft Teams daily and catch up on things we have been doing throughout the day, discussing any new interesting matters and garnering thoughts on points that might have arisen in our active matters.
I resume with other work contained within my to-do list.
I sit down with Rix & Kay’s Quality & Compliance Manager for a spot of informal training on issues I requested clarity on earlier in the day. Everyone is really friendly and more than willing to offer time to assist in training and updating knowledge. After the training I prepare a note on what has been discussed and distribute to other colleagues within the CoCo team whom I believe may benefit.
I receive an email from a solicitor within the CoCo team with a request to open a new matter on which we have received urgent instructions. I am exposed to all elements of a file from its inception, thinking not just about legal advice but also about running a matter. I prepare a client care letter, conduct appropriate due diligence on the client and third parties and also assess any risks that might arise.
I receive a call from a partner in the CoCo team who has reviewed the draft ancillary documents prepared in the morning. We discuss what is done well and what I can amend so that we can get the documents in the best form possible. I make the changes and send them back for final approval with a draft email to the client asking them to execute the documents. Once confirmed, I email the clients directly and ask them to review and with detailed instructions, execute where necessary.
I review what I have left to do from my to-do list for tomorrow, file emails to our document management system and complete my time recording. There is a very collegiate feel at Rix & Kay and I head to the desks of other colleagues present in the office from different departments and catch up with them before heading off home.