The role of a trainee solicitor at DTM Legal can vary day to day and from day one I have felt like an integral and valued part of the team. I was always determined to become a solicitor and consider myself fortunate that I was able to progress from a paralegal to a trainee solicitor at DTM Legal.
I was working as a Commercial Property paralegal before gaining my training contract and my first training seat was within the Commercial Property department, therefore, the transition from paralegal to trainee was organic as I had already accumulated a degree of working knowledge of the practice area. Over the 6 months I was training and as my practical knowledge expanded, I was given more responsibility and asked to draft a wider variety of documents and oversee the day to day running of files under the supervision of a Commercial Property partner.
I am currently working within the Corporate and Commercial team in the firm’s Chester office and my day typically starts between 08:45am and 09:00am, I check my emails to see what may have come in overnight (we are not expected to work from home so there is a very healthy work/home life balance!) and what may still be outstanding. I then find it helpful to compile a list of outstanding work and note what I want to try and complete that day (although flexibility is important as this list can change depending on the nature and urgency of transactions) as this helps me to prioritise my workload and provides a framework for the day ahead.
I commonly finish my working day at around 17:30pm. There are instances where I stay beyond these hours but this will typically be when there may be a busy period or an urgent, imminent transaction and this is not the norm and is not expected of trainees frequently.
Within the office there is a friendly, unpretentious atmosphere and teamwork is entrenched within the firm’s ethos. Due to the support network that exists, I feel like I have somewhere to turn if extra help or support is needed.
DTM Legal allow their trainees to get fully involved in all aspects of ongoing transactions in order to provide a range of experience at all levels, whilst being steered and guided by the senior members of the team. From the start of my training contact I have been involved in client meetings; this enables me to be formally introduced to the clients but also enables me to fully understand the client’s objectives. Whilst working at DTM Legal I have worked with a variety of clients ranging from landlords, developers, SIPPS and charities and private individuals.
For more information on how you can become a trainee solicitor, visit our trainee solicitor programme web-page.