Responsibilities of a trainee solicitor

From Real Estate to Litigation, Chloe shares a snapshot of the many and varied tasks and responsibilities that you will have the opportunity to undertake as a trainee solicitor at Shoosmiths.

One of my favourite aspects of my traineeship with Shoosmiths is the variety of responsibilities that come with being a trainee solicitor. Every day is different and you generally can’t predict how your day will look. Of course, the responsibilities that you will have as a trainee depend greatly on your seat but there are some responsibilities which you can expect, regardless of your seat. These can relate to legal work such as undertaking legal research or research for pitches for new clients or work, assisting with writing articles, meeting clients and managing your workload with the assistance of your supervisor.

There are also lots of responsibilities which don’t relate so directly to legal work such as organising a future trainee event. These events are held across our offices and are a chance to keep in touch with successful candidates before they start their training contracts. This usually involves organising drinks and dinner for the future trainees and colleagues from the office. 

As a trainee, you will also be responsible for a summer placement candidate as part of our vacation scheme for a week in the summer and this involves managing and assisting them with legal work, as well as showing them the social side of the firm.

It is also common for trainees to attend events to promote our vacation scheme and training contract such as law fairs and our Insight Evenings. These provide an opportunity to advise students as they figure out what their next steps will be. I have also assisted with other events hosted by the firm such as client seminars on legal updates or the Edinburgh office’s Spring Drinks event this year, both of which allowed me to meet clients from across the different teams in the office.

I spent my first two seats in the Real Estate Division and I am now in a mixed litigation seat in our Business Advisory Division which means I am working with our Employment, Commercial Litigation and Debt Recovery teams. As I spent a year in Real Estate, the majority of my experience has been in that area. Some of the responsibilities which are specific to that area include: drafting forms for the Land Register of Scotland, Companies House and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax; compiling bibles of documents in order to send them to clients on completion of transactions; ordering searches over properties, companies and individuals; drafting legal documents and agreements, as well as reports to clients on titles or leases; and working with clients and other solicitors to complete transactions. I really enjoyed my year within the team and was given good opportunities in terms of my level of responsibility such as running files, completions of transactions and having direct client contact.

Some litigation specific responsibilities include: drafting and managing court documents; lodging documents at court; preparing bundles of documents for court or meetings; producing notes for court hearings or meetings; and appearing in court. The responsibilities of this seat are very varied due to the different areas of law involved and this gives a really good overview of different types of litigation.

Throughout my traineeship I have been impressed by the quality of work that I have been included in and that, while I have been challenged in order to learn and grow, I have always felt supported by the teams I have worked in. My supervisors have been invested in my experience and not simply the ways that a trainee can help their team. This is really just a flavour of a trainee’s responsibilities at Shoosmiths and I cannot recommend the training programme here enough because of the range and quality of responsibilities I have been given.

If this blog has inspired you and you then you may also be interested to read Pardeep’s blog on making the most of your training contract.

If you have any specific questions, you can contact the graduate recruitment team via twitter or email.

Click here to read more posts with advice about standing out from the competition on the Shoosmiths careers blog.


This information is for educational 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. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.


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