I applied in 2015 for a TC with Howard Kennedy, and when after final interview I was unsuccessful I worked as a Paralegal within one of the firm's busiest departments, Residential Development Sales for a year. I then re-applied for a TC the following year and was successful. I chose Howard Kennedy primarily because of the type of clients the firm attracts; from high net worth individuals and families to budding entrepreneurs and the variety of practice areas. Having worked at the firm for a year, I was fortunate enough to experience how approachable and encouraging members of the firm are which really drove me to apply again.
A typical day for me will involve drafting legal documents, liaising directly with clients and solicitors acting for the other parties in a matter and researching. I have also had the opportunity to attending client meetings, represent the firm at awards shows, draft a work experience programme for work experience students and assist with the LAW 2016 Annual General Meeting, hosted by Howard Kennedy.
Each department has its own trainee training programme i.e. in my first seat in Corporate we had a month of weekly introductory seminars for key corporate areas, and in my second seat in Real Estate we have monthly Knowledge Management Sessions where several members of the team and trainees present to each other on a recent property update. We also have weekly Real Estate seminars which all trainees attend, sector focussed PESTLE presentations and a trainee programme run by HR where we have external speakers attend to speak to us about networking and internal speakers who discuss career progression.
Highlights have included assisting with closing a Corporate deal that had been ongoing for well over a year and giving a presentation on Product Liability at Central Saint Martin's university to the design course students. I enjoy the level of responsibility I am given and feeling that the work I do is genuinely appreciated.
The biggest challenge I would say is wanting to take on a variety of work for a variety of people, to expand your own skills and knowledge and to make an impression with as many members of your team as possible – but learning to prioritise or qualify how much capacity you have is a crucial skill for a trainee. Your supervisor is there to give advice, so speak to them when you find yourself in a challenging situation and they will. Partners are just as approachable as NQ Solicitors and the Secretaries and everyone truly adopts the "No question is too stupid" policy. The office is open plan which is great as you can freely ask questions and absorb the work people around you are doing. It also provides the opportunity to work for the wider team. Particular perks – getting a window seat! The view is incredible.