Five tips for Your Trainee Solicitor Induction Week

Shoosmiths invites all trainee solicitors across the firm to an induction week before starting the first seat of their training contract. Olivia Ashcroft, a Trainee Solicitor based in Leeds, shares her five top tips for making the most of the induction week.

1. Be friendly and enjoy getting to know the rest of your trainee cohort

Don’t be afraid of networking – I promise everyone will be just as nervous as you at the start of the week! It is really important that you make an effort to get to know everyone, as your trainee cohort will become a strong support network as you undergo your training contract. As I was told on my induction week, ‘your network is your net worth’. 

Things to do:

  • Make connections before you start the week – chat on the private social groups or suggest setting up a WhatsApp group
  • Sit on a different table, with different colleagues each day
  • Be memorable, and make the effort to remember others by name and by something they enjoy or that stands out about them

2. Start as you mean to go on

Adopt good habits! Your email inbox will never be as empty as it is in your first week - I would recommend organising your inbox into folders and sub folders so that you can access things quickly and easily. For example, I have a folder entitled ‘Real Estate’ which is further sub-divided into supervisors and then matters. I would also recommend making good notes on any IT training – you will thank yourself when things properly get started back in your home office in the second week.

Things to do:

  • Create an easy-to-follow folder structure in your email inbox
  • Work out your preference for staying organised with a task list (paper/computer, outlook/word etc)
  • Read emails as you go and action them. Don’t save them up for one big reading session.

3. Get involved

You will hear about so many amazing groups and activities to get involved in during your training contract. At Shoosmiths, we had introductory talks from internal groups such as the EMBRACE network, the BALANCE network and the Mental Health champions. We were also set a corporate responsibility trainee challenge to encourage us to get involved in pro bono work. I would really recommend getting involved in these kinds of opportunities to grow your network, explore your own individual interests and build your own personal brand.  

Things to do:

  • Show your interest by asking questions about the networks and opportunities when people meet you in your first week
  • Sign up to opportunities in your first week when they are fresh in your mind
  • Don’t feel like you need to sign up to EVERYTHING!

4. Reach out to your supervisor

Arrange a quick call or send an email to your supervisor introducing yourself. Make a good first impression by asking whether there is anything you can read or look into before you start – this will show that you are proactive and eager to help the team out. 

Things to do:

  • Email your supervisor to introduce yourself
  • If they ask you to read anything in advance, be sure to set time aside for it
  • Search the intranet to understand more about the structure of the team you are joining and who your closest colleagues will be

5. Have fun

Most importantly, enjoy yourself and embrace the journey. You have worked so hard to get to this point so relax and have fun. My favourite part of the induction week was seeing everyone’s competitive sides come out whilst playing social darts at Flight Club on the first day of the induction week.


You may also be interested in reading Yasmin’s blog on how to be a successful networker. 

If you have any questions you can email us at [email protected] or have a look at some frequently asked questions here.

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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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