Bethany Drew shares a day-in-the-life of a first-seat trainee adapting to working from home and in the office.
A nice early start to the day begins with a walk along the harbourside to the gym. I welcomed the easing of COVID-19 restrictions with open arms when it meant I could finally work out in a real gym (rather than my make-shift gym at home!).
Preparing a hearty breakfast always sets me up for a good day, so I enjoy setting aside some time in the morning to cook myself something tasty.
Time to start the working day. The first thing I do every morning is jot down a detailed to do list for the day, whilst I take an initial look at my emails and scan for anything important that has come in overnight. I live by my to-do list and would be awfully lost without it! I also make a quick note of any questions or queries to raise with my supervisor before our catch up call at lunch. Starting my training contract remotely has certainly been a learning curve but I feel very lucky to have received a lot of support from my team and in particular my supervisor, who I catch up with three days a week.
I am currently in my first seat in the Projects, Infrastructure and Construction team, which involves both contentious and non-contentious work, providing me with great exposure very early on in my training contract. Today is one of my busier mornings and I start with an internal strategy meeting on one of the contentious matters I am assisting with. I am working with a small team of colleagues on this matter and have been given a lot of responsibility in engaging with the client and experts, including technical and quantum experts.
Onto my next meeting of the morning; this time, an external call with my supervisor and a client. During the call, I take note of the main points discussed and update our matter task tracker to reflect any changes to the case. Whilst working from home I have been extremely lucky to meet many of our clients and experts (albeit virtually!).
I have a quick catch up with my supervisor to update him on my workload before taking a good look at my emails and responding to any that have come in over the course of the morning.
Lunch time! I quickly indulge in the lunch I prepared last night and head out as soon as possible for a walk around the local park whilst grabbing a chai latte at my favourite coffee shop on the way home.
Back to my home office and I have a lot of work to get done after a morning filled with calls. First on my to-do list is to begin drafting instructions to counsel. During the strategy call this morning the team decided it would be a great task for me to take the initial lead on. This is the first time I have drafted instructions to counsel so I take a look at some previous examples to bring together a template before familiarising myself with the area of law and relevant facts of the case. We are instructing counsel to provide a detailed analysis of the prospects of success of a mediation which will take place in September.
One of the partners receives an important request from a client to insert additional clauses into an agreement we have been reviewing. I pause my drafting for now and hop on a call to discuss the necessary amendments, following which I draft the clauses and send them to the partner for approval.
Time to secure my desk for tomorrow! Thursdays are my days in the office, so I take the time to ensure I have complied with TLT’s Covid-19 policy and book my desk, alongside planning with the other trainees also in the office where we are going to go for lunch!
I take another look at the instructions to counsel and decide that I need to spend some time researching the area of law we are seeking advice upon to ensure I am tailoring the instructions accurately. The benefit of being a trainee is that your team recognises how new you are to the job and allows you enough time to really understand and engage in each task.
It’s time to log off for the evening. I have achieved more than I anticipated drafting the instructions and dealt with all my emails, so it’s time to prepare a quick dinner and then head out to catch up with some friends over a drink in a (cold!) beer garden.
Bethany Drew is a first seat trainee for TLT, currently in the Projects, Infrastructure and Construction team. Bethany is based in the Bristol office.