The posts on this site are generally addressed to students thinking about applying for a career as a solicitor, but this one is a bit different – it shares 2 seemingly contradictory thoughts about what to do during a training contract.
- Make sure that you do work for lots of people in the department. Not only will this give you a nice range of different experience, it also allows you to receive different types of feed-back – which is offered as a gift by the way, so it should always be accepted with thanks. In addition to this, it might help you learn about yourself – e.g. the type of work that you like doing and the type of people that you like working with. But at the same time…
- Do make sure that you have a senior sponsor in the department in which you want to qualify. Picture the 6-monthly partners’ department meeting at which they review which trainees should be offered NQ roles. They will go through the various names in the frame and the number of NQs that they want – the former normally a larger number than the latter, especially in popular departments. Each candidate might be discussed for a few minutes, with reference to their performance reviews. This could well be the most important meeting of your career and you are not even in the room. At that precise moment, you need a senior voice to be an advocate for you being one of the names put on the “offer” list. And if you have achieved number 1 above, then others in the room will agree.
Maybe it’s hard to combine these 2 conflicting pieces of advice, but I don’t think so – even your sponsor will have quiet times when you are not needed and, if they are sensible, then they will understand that it’s best for your career to become known for good work across the group.