Partner Insight: What is it like to work at Shoosmiths in Scotland?

Robin Mitchell is a partner in Shoosmiths’ Edinburgh office, here he answers the most commonly asked questions from aspiring solicitors, focusing on working life in Scotland and what opportunities are available to you as a trainee solicitor.

Alongside Robin’s role as a partner in Shoosmiths’ Real Estate division, Robin is also the training principal for trainee solicitors across our Scottish offices. His role is fundamental in the development of trainee solicitors at Shoosmiths, he also forms one of the many support networks available to trainee solicitors.

The Emerging Talent Team sat down with Robin to ask for his insight into the most commonly asked questions from aspiring solicitors. Robin delves into life working in the vibrant city of Edinburgh as well as shedding light on the growth of Shoosmiths in Scotland. With a wealth of experience, Robin shares valuable advice for aspiring lawyers who are eager to kickstart their legal career.

Why is this an exciting time to be part of Shoosmiths in Scotland?

Shoosmiths is still a relative newcomer in Scottish terms, having first opened in Edinburgh in 2012. Since then, we have expanded rapidly, including the opening of a Glasgow office and moving to brand new premises at Haymarket Square, Edinburgh last year. We are continuing to grow both our headcount and the quality of the work we are involved in, so anyone coming in can expect to play an important role in our continuing journey alongside some fantastic colleagues.

What do you enjoy the most about working in the Edinburgh office?

As someone who tends to be office based, I have to say that as well as the spectacular new Edinburgh office, it is the people who make a real difference. I work in Real Estate, and we have a great team of people who work together to provide the excellent client service we pride ourselves on, but in addition the office is set up so as to be a truly collaborative space and it really lends itself to allowing interactions with other teams across the firm. We are a pretty sociable bunch too, so there’s always something going on there.

What type of work/responsibilities would a trainee solicitor in Scotland get to experience?

We currently offer seats in Real Estate, Corporate/Banking, Commercial Litigation and Employment. In recent years, many of our trainees have also managed to secure a secondment with one of our national clients for one of their six-month seats. The amount of client contact and responsibilities differ across each of those seats, but our trainees are very much involved in both the work we do and in the life of the firm. Trainees often choose to get involved in the social or charitable committees or joining one of the many networks that we have across the firm.

As an assessor at the Training Contract Assessment Centre, what are they key things you look for in applicants?

I am particularly looking for people to be themselves – I don’t want to see candidates pretending to be who they think we are looking for. One of the firm’s core values is “Being Ourselves” and we want to ensure that candidates will be comfortable in their role. I also look for enthusiasm from candidates, not just for a job as a trainee solicitor but specifically as part of Shoosmiths, having identified why they would be a good fit for this particular firm. I also encourage prospective trainees to share something interesting about themselves – assessors deliberately don’t receive any background information on the candidates, so don’t assume we know what is on your CV. We don’t!

As a training principal overseeing the professional development of trainees in Scotland, what is the most common challenge trainees have to overcome and how do you suggest they handle this challenge?

Most of our trainees come to us having little or no experience of a professional office environment, so it can take while to get used to. More specifically, it can be difficult to balance competing priorities, with trainees obviously wanting to complete all tasks given to them, but perhaps not knowing which is the most important. The easiest way to work that out is to ask the person providing each piece of work for a timescale for its completion and, if there are genuinely competing priorities, to flag to both parties and ask for advice. And remember, other trainees and team members are a great source of help – don’t be afraid to ask!

Find out more about working at Shoosmiths

Apply for an insight evening, placement or training contract in Shoosmiths’ Scottish offices here.

Apply for a business support or legal adviser role in Scotland here.

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This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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