Informal Training & Mentoring

7.2 / 10

(based on 16 ratings in 2017)

2017

"Some are better than others but my current department is brilliant at giving feedback and assistance."
Second year trainee, Taunton
"There's no formal mentoring programme for trainees or junior solicitors. Therefore, it's highly dependent on general supervision. In my case, I have good supervision but this cannot be said for all."
Newly qualified solicitor, Bristol
"This varies heavily from department to department. Some supervisors can be too busy to provide adequate support but, for the most part, solicitors and partners are very accessible. If you have a question they are more than willing to listen and help you with your issue."
Second year trainee, Exeter
"Some are better than others. There could be some more uniform training across the board so that supervising fee earners are able to provide better feedback but it is difficult as everyone is so busy. My experience is that my supervisor was fantastic, providing really constructive feedback on letters/emails and conducting client interviews."
First year trainee, Exeter
"Generally good, although this is dependent on the team you are in, how busy the firm is as a whole and the partner responsible for mentoring you."
Second year trainee, Exeter
"We have mid-seat reviews and end-of-seat reviews. It would be good to get more feedback on work completed."
First year trainee, Exeter
"Trainees are assigned to a senior partner in each team to mentor and supervise them."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Everyone is very accessible. Even though there is a hierarchy, everyone is approachable."
First year trainee, Exeter
"This is extremely varied between departments. If you are fortunate to work for a good mentor the learning process is top-notch and you are able to really see your progress over the six months. However, in some teams there is a lack of consistency with trainees and feedback will only occur during the formal review sessions (up to two per seat)."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"It varies so drastically from seat to seat. Some partners are great lawyers but may not be good managers or mentors while others are both great lawyers and great mentors. My first seat wasn't great but I couldn't rate my partner highly enough in my second seat."
First year trainee, Taunton

2016

"The solicitors and partners are extremely accessible. However, there are inconsistencies with regards to the levels of mentoring across different departments. Generally, you do not hear anything from mentors unless you have done something wrong. No news is good news. More senior members of staff are better at giving praise and thanks for work done. For example, I receive more emails of thanks from the CEO than from some of the solicitors who I have done work for. This is not applicable to all of the solicitors, some are extremely good at providing positive and constructive feedback on pieces of work. It depends which department you are in."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Some are more accessible than others but generally, if caught at the right time, all partners are happy to give comments on your work. Solicitors are very supportive to trainees."
First year trainee, Exeter
"In general everyone is very accommodating and friendly and are very open to helping trainees."
First year trainee, Exeter
"This is very much dependent on department. My experience has generally been good, but I think supervisor's could do more generally to look after trainees and inspire them to pursue careers in their practice area."
Second year trainee, Exeter
"From my experience, I have found that senior members of staff are always happy to pass on advice and support when needed. Fee earners are generally happy to provide feedback on work done."
First year trainee, Exeter
"On the whole, everyone is accessible and approachable subject to their workload. You have two reviews in each seat. Beyond that, feedback is very much ad-hoc. You do not tend to receive regular praise as good work is expected, but you will receive constructive criticism if needed."
Second year trainee, Exeter
"All of my supervisors have been really approachable and there is plenty of opportunity to get feedback and not just in formal review sessions."
First year trainee, Taunton - Somerset
"Most of the time it is very easy to get hold of solicitors and partners if you need help."
First year trainee, Taunton
"While we have a trainee mentor scheme, the implementation could be improved. However, senior staff members are usually more than willing to provide feedback when required. It is also provided in our appraisals which occur every three months."
First year trainee, Exeter

2015

"In each department I have been in I have received excellent support from my supervisors who have given me guidance and feedback throughout."
First year trainee, Exeter
"All of the supervisors I have encountered have been very accessible and happy to discuss issues or questions."
Second year trainee, Exeter
"This inevitably depends on the supervisor you have. My two supervisors so far have been very good at giving me feedback informally and in quarterly appraisals."
First year trainee, Exeter
"The firm now has an Ashfords Academy: an online service whereby staff can carry out soft skills courses at their leisure. Trainees have mid- and end-of-seat reviews to discuss areas where they can improve, and to receive praise where they have done well."
First year trainee, Exeter
"As a trainee you sit directly next to a solicitor or partner who are there to help throughout the day. Everyone is 100% accessible and happy to help."
First year trainee, Exeter
"Each department differs in this regard as some have a formal partner/mentor structure and others do not, and these rely on trainees asking questions and for help when they need it. Each has their pros and cons but generally the environment is such that it enables trainees to request feedback as required."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Trainees regularly have reviews throughout their seat which provides a good opportunity for praise and recognition of work as well as performance feedback. I regularly get copied into emails that are sent following ones I have drafted that allows me to see the changes made, and most fee earners are happy to discuss the changes they have made and why."
Second year trainee, Exeter

2014

"All offices are open-plan so you sit and work closely with partners and solicitors. I have always found them accessible and willing to impart their knowledge. Although it is harder during particularly busy times in the office, when things quieten down or at the end of the day they are willing to go back and explain things to help aid your learning. We have regular reviews throughout the training contract which I have found to be the best time to hear about your supervisors experiences and learn from them."
First year trainee, Exeter
"Senior solicitors are very accessible. There is also a good appraisal programme in place."
Second year trainee, Exeter
"The staff make incredibly good mentors, giving praise where due and always making time to answer questions or address any concerns."
First year trainee, Exeter
"I've been lucky to work with supportive and instructive colleagues."
Second year trainee, Plymouth
Our 'Inside Buzz' reviews are the comments and views of recent graduate recruits, giving you a view of what it may be like to work for an organisation. Copyright of all TARGETjobs Inside Buzz material lies solely with GTI Media.
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