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Informal Training & Mentoring

8.5 / 10

(based on 21 ratings in 2018)

2018

"Everyone is very willing to help and it's continually surprising just how happy senior fee earners (including partners) are to take the time to explain even extremely basic concepts to you. Your progress is closely monitored and people are quick to give feedback in general (including appreciation if you're doing well)."
First year trainee, London
"You share an office with your supervisor so there is always someone on hand to ask questions of. You are also given a partner principle over the two years who meets with you as often as you need to check on how you are progressing through the training contract. We are also part of a group that is allocated a partner in the trainee solicitor committee who you meet in groups and on your own at the end of each seat."
First year trainee, London
"We share an office with our supervisor (a senior solicitor or above) so you always have someone on hand to ask questions of. Other solicitors you work for often provide you with feedback on your work and explain legal quirks in detail. We are assigned a partner principle when we join who sticks with us over the two years. We can meet with them as regularly as we want and can talk through the process leading up to qualification and how we can improve. Lastly, you are part of a trainee constituency group that meets every few months to chat about trainee life and see what can be improved."
First year trainee, London
"Some people are obviously better at mentoring than others, I think it's a skill you either have or you don't. I find that some people in particular are incredibly helpful and you do regularly get praise for the work done. I have had a partner as a supervisor and he was just as accessible as anyone else in the firm and the partners in my current department are always very supportive and have time for you (although, you do have to get good at reading when they're too busy to help on some occasions)."
First year trainee, London
"I have an excellent partner principal who, despite being very busy, has always made time to meet with me. I have found senior lawyers across the firm to be very approachable."
Second year trainee, London
"As a quite traditional firm, people are sometimes quite reserved about giving feedback informally. Trainee reviews are taken seriously however, and there is a comprehensive mentorship system in place at the firm. Each trainee has their supervisor, a partner mentor who generally oversees their development, and a partner mentor who is on the trainee solicitor committee. You meet with each of them regularly and they all take their role seriously."
First year trainee, London
"It depends on the department as a lot of people are very busy in some so feedback on work can be infrequent. Some people will go out of their way to sit down and give feedback though, which is always hugely appreciated."
First year trainee, London
"The mentors I have been formally allocated are extremely accessible. I have a supervisor, a partner principle, a mentor and a trainee solicitor constituency partner, all of whom I would have no qualms in emailing to go for a catch-up over coffee."
First year trainee, London

2017

"Mentoring arrangements have generally been helpful. Day-to-day feedback is useful for helping to improve work."
Second year trainee, London
"I learn a lot from day-to-day working. We quite often work very closely with partners so you can learn a lot by watching, but I've also had fantastic supervisors who have taken the time to give thorough feedback on my work."
Second year trainee, London
"Everyone is lovely to work with, with the very odd exception. We get formal feedback four times per seat and, if one is doing well, positive feedback is common."
Second year trainee, London
"This is generally very good, though some partners are less engaged, which can make it tricky for trainees. It's often a bit of a lottery when it comes to what kind of partner you get assigned to. Those that do engage are very good."
Second year trainee, London
"You learn from listening to solicitors and partners negotiate, talk through problems internally and discuss how to relay their advice to clients. Feedback for trainees has been good in my experience and is given at the end of completing pieces of work. There is also broader feedback at your mid- and end-of-seat reviews."
Second year trainee, London
"Trainees have reviews every three months, which are useful, although it would be nice to receive slightly more regular feedback informally."
First year trainee, London
"This is one of the best parts of the training contract at Macfarlanes. Solicitors and partners are very good mentors and want you to learn rather than just do work."
Second year trainee, London
"The lawyers at Macfarlanes are happy to help and offer feedback when asked. They'll often go out of their way to ensure a trainee is given the guidance they need in order to succeed."
First year trainee, London

2016

"This is great. I really benefit from working with senior people who are willing to take time out of their day to teach you. People will usually provide feedback when asked. There's a real emphasis on training here."
First year trainee, London
"Most people will happily sit down and explain work."
Second year trainee, London
"We have a lot of good processes in place, including partner mentors as well as a dedicated supervisor. Often work gets in the way of seniors having time to properly explain things or engage with you, but that is to be expected."
First year trainee, London
"The firm has made recent improvements in this area, such as diarising mid-seat meetings with trainees and their partner mentors (on top of end-of-seat meetings) and devising trainee constituencies for partners on the trainee solicitors committee, so that it is clear who you should approach with an issue."
Second year trainee, London
"The firm is putting in a lot of effort in this area to make sure every trainee has more than enough support."
First year trainee, London
"Feedback could perhaps be given more regularly, but on-the-job training is very good."
Second year trainee, London
"This varies – but on the whole partners and senior solicitors are accessible and open to providing feedback, once you have asked for it."
First year trainee, London

2015

"Solicitors and partners are very accessible. Supervisors must attend feedback seminars."
First year trainee, London
"I believe that there is a good level of informal mentoring."
First year trainee, London
"My principal takes me out for lunch every couple of months. We have end-of-seat reviews with both supervisors and, separately, the principal and another partner. Most partners are very approachable and I feel that I could talk to them if there were an issue."
First year trainee, London
"Accessibility to associates is excellent; they always seem to have time for you. Accessibility to partners is very good, but obviously you have to pick your moments a little more. Feedback is not always given, but it is given if you ask and also for the most important jobs. Associates/partners are not shy to tell you if you have done a particularly good job on something."
Second year trainee, London
"Solicitors and partners are accessible. You just need to be aware of when the best time to go in to see someone is, which is both practical and obvious. Thanks are given where a job is done well."
First year trainee, London
"Mentoring is very much an individual personality thing - some people set aside a lot of time to train you and help you on matters, whereas others take a more 'learn on the job' approach and will only correct you when you're wrong, rather than provide guidance beforehand."
First year trainee, London
"I can see that informal training and mentoring are both very good: senior lawyers have a lot of time and respect for trainees and are always willing to explain even tedious and basic points."
First year trainee, London

2014

"I have found it easy to talk to anyone regarding issues I may have or for advice on a certain point."
First year trainee, London
"I have found mentors to be very accessible and make time to explain things; they're friendly and there's definitely an 'open-door' policy here."
First year trainee, London
"Personally, my supervisor is fantastic and teaches me rather than leaving me to my own devices."
First year trainee, London
"There is a lot of guidance for trainees at Macfarlanes."
Second year trainee, London
"I have been lucky to have a very conscientious supervisor who has been very busy and so able to give me lots of work to be getting on with. Additionally, he is a very laid-back character and has always been on-hand to offer advice, as well as to draw to my attention things that I need to improve on."
First year trainee, London
"I have a principal and a supervisor. My principal is the person who oversees my entire training contract and he regularly takes me out for dinners and coffees. My supervisor then oversees my day-to-day work. They always have time for questions and truly want you to know and understand the work that you are involved in."
Second year trainee, London
"I have found that informal training can occasionally be a little 'hands off' but it is generally very good with supervision/mentoring. 'The open-door' policy means that a wide variety of people are very accessible."
First year trainee, London
"Every trainee is given a partner mentor who guides them throughout their training contract, and this role is taken very seriously."
Second year trainee, London
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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