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Informal Training & Mentoring

8.4 / 10

(based on 47 ratings in 2018)

2018

"It can often be difficult to receive performance feedback outside of formal seat reviews, this is mainly due to how busy other fee earners are. There is a firm-wide recognition incentive where you can applaud colleagues who have gone above and beyond."
First year trainee, Sheffield
"The informal training is very good. There are daily general discussions about the sector, certain specific aspects of the law and the business in general. I have been brought in on conversations about partnership track, billing, the law firm as a business and business development."
First year trainee, London
"The strength of the training at IM is the informal side. Everyone, without exception, takes the time to sit down and talk through a topic or point of law if asked. If your drafting gets amended before being sent out, you will helpfully be told what was changed and why and any questions will be addressed with no judgement or criticism. Fee earners will make deliberate efforts to get you involved if you want more of a particular type of work. You are recognised for good work that you do and partners will come and thank you specifically. This is very much in line with the generally personable firm culture."
London
"Solicitors and partners are very supportive and approachable so I've never felt awkward about asking someone to explain something for me. I routinely receive informal feedback on my work in addition to the formal reviews throughout my seat."
First year trainee, Manchester
"There are very good mentors that care about your progression and development. There are regular monthly review meetings and a recognition system in place with rewards such as a box of chocolates and gift vouchers."
Second year trainee, Leeds
"Partners are very friendly, approachable and care about your progress. They will take time to give feedback and ensure that you understand what is required. Reviews are helpful, praise is given when you have done a good job and constructive feedback is always available."
First year trainee, London
"The firm offers a mentoring scheme that allows someone who is experienced in whatever it is you want to learn to help you. For example, I heard of a partner who wanted to get better at Excel and so signed up to the scheme. Their mentor was a PA in another team who spent an hour or so each week with the partner, just guiding them through Excel and teaching them how to use it. More conventionally, I am signed up to the scheme to help with my career progression and networking/profile raising, which I think is important at this early stage of my career."
First year trainee, London
"Partners and supervisors are approachable and willing to help. They understand the role of a trainee and the experience that you already have and want to assist you to ensure you get the most from your trainee seats."
First year trainee, Newcastle

2017

"There is an informal internal mentoring scheme that seems to work well. As trainees, we receive feedback on our work every month in our first year and every three months in our second year."
Second year trainee, Birmingham
"The solicitors and partners are all very different so you get a really good spread of mentoring. Some are quick to praise work while others have stricter expectations, but they all help you and give useful feedback."
Second year trainee, Sheffield
"Supervision is excellent."
First year trainee, Manchester
"It depends on the individual. The appraisal forms focus on the Solicitors Regulation Authority skills rather than your own performance."
First year trainee, London
"Supervisors are always happy to talk through any problems and first-year trainees have monthly meetings with their supervisor. There's a quarterly meeting with the partner who looks after the trainees and the graduate manager meets with each trainee three times a year."
First year trainee, Leeds
"You are provided with a trainee mentor, which is nice because it's a familiar face for you to approach from day one. In terms of partners and solicitors, they are accessible and willing to assist with personal development."
Second year trainee, Manchester
"Solicitors and partners in the Southampton office are very approachable and accessible. We work in an open-plan office and if, on the odd occasion, someone in your own team cannot help or is unavailable, there is always someone in another team willing to help. They have a very strong focus on developing people."
First year trainee, Southampton
"Most partners and associates are friendly and supportive. There has always been someone there to assist when needed and most are happy to spend time mentoring etc."
Second year trainee, Sheffield

2016

"Most solicitors and partners are very approachable and give constructive feedback and praise for written work and telephone conversations. This has been hugely helpful."
First year trainee, Bristol
"As trainees, we also organise our own soft skills training and approach different senior members of the firm to put on training sessions. These are extremely useful and senior staff are keen to get involved."
First year trainee, London
"There is currently no formal mentor scheme but one is being put together. The supervisor relationship depends on your seat. Some supervisors are very active and others less so. In any case, every first year trainee will have a monthly review and a more in depth review at the end of their seat. The more active you are (eg emailing the team saying you have a review and asking them to email your supervisor feedback on you) the more you get out of these meetings. You do get recognition when you do something well."
First year trainee, London
"Mostly, mentoring is very strong and most members of the team are accessible and approachable. Obviously, there are a few exceptions."
First year trainee, Sheffield
"Some of the solicitors and partners are very good at making themselves available to trainees. All junior members of staff have also just been given official mentors."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"Fee earners of all levels are extremely approachable and always willing to help. There's lots of support and guidance available to junior members of staff."
First year trainee, Chichester
"Mentoring has been fantastic so far. As a new starter, I have spoken with many trainees on hints and tips and even before I started I was given a 'buddy' with whom I could speak. My supervisor has been brilliant so far. He has been happy to speak with me informally on the work I am doing and we meet on a monthly basis to discuss my progress. The transparency has been very good."
First year trainee, Newbury
"They are generally very accessible. Supervisors are aware of the areas in which you need to gain experience as a trainee and actively support you in this process."
First year trainee, Birmingham

2015

"All future trainees have buddies who are current trainees within the firm. We have monthly performance reviews as well as end of seat reviews. All fee earners, at all levels, make themselves available to you to discuss your performance and how you can improve."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"In my experience, the mentoring here is excellent, as everyone takes the time to explain and give feedback to you."
Second year trainee, London
"The partners have an open-door policy so you can ask questions (within reason) daily. We have monthly appraisals to keep us on track, and I receive recognition and praise when I have assisted on tasks, and done them well."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"Solicitors and partners are more accessible in some areas than others, but generally the partners make fantastic mentors, and really take the time to give feedback and suggest opportunities for further development."
First year trainee, Sheffield
"All staff at Irwin Mitchell are approachable, regardless of their level, and individually we have a set supervisor. I have often asked partners for advice or guidance as well."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"While some solicitors and partners make good mentors, others do not, but overall I found solicitors and partners at the firm to be very accessible."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"Everyone is very accessible and helpful at the firm. In particular, I found that if you get positive feedback from a client, then solicitors and supervisors will circulate that to the relevant people."
First year trainee, Manchester
"Feedback at the firm is regular: I receive feedback on every piece of work I do, and I have monthly reviews with my supervisor. Also there is always a solicitor or partner who I can ask for advice."
First year trainee, Sheffield
"We have mentors as well as supervisors to help our development at Irwin Mitchell. The mentors are in teams who you normally don't work with, but the effectiveness of this does depend on who you are paired with. Personally, I have had very little input from my mentor, but I know colleagues who have had a lot of support, and I have found that most partners/associates are very approachable and happy to help."
First year trainee, Leeds
"Partners are very accessible and give regular feedback to trainees at the firm. We have regular seat reviews, and there is a recognition system on our intranet."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The teams are very involved in helping you to get up to speed with current practices, and encourage your involvement in all of the work. I find that there is always someone to discuss any issues or thoughts with."
First year trainee, Leeds

2014

"Everyone I have worked with has been approachable and friendly. If you are willing to work hard and endeavour to learn then you will be appreciated."
First year trainee, Sheffield
"In my experience the partners at excellent mentors. They go above and beyond to give you exposure to the experiences that will help you develop certain skills/knowledge. I receive regular feedback. They listen to you and are constantly thinking of ways to help your training. They are all extremely approachable and get involved in activities outside of work such a charity events and socials."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Monthly review scheme is great for making sure you are on track but everyone is really approachable and friendly and takes time to ensure you understand tasks and learn from any mistakes."
Second year trainee, Manchester
"Each employee is assigned a mentor of a higher status (I have a partner I would not ordinarily come across) with whom you are able to discuss any issues you may have and throw around any ideas for career progression. My mentor is accessible, helpful and extremely knowledgeable. Feedback is given continuously and praise is given when deserved."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"All the solicitors and more senior fee earners I have encountered have been very approachable, happy to involve the trainee in their day and give effective feedback."
First year trainee, Sheffield
"I have found that partners, associates and solicitors are all great mentors. They are approachable and always willing to give up time for you."
Second year trainee, London
"Colleagues are happy to train informally and the knowledge gained from experienced and senior colleagues is excellent."
First year trainee, London
"I believe mentoring varies between departments. I've found that the majority of solicitors and partners are approachable. There are mentors in place for new trainees which is helpful."
First year trainee, Sheffield
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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