After completing a week-long vacation scheme at Penningtons Manches, I was offered a training contract at the firm. I chose Penningtons Manches as I could see that it was a growing firm as well as having broad practice areas and friendly culture. Knowing this, I could see that it would be a fantastic place to train and work.
As the firm offers seats within business services, private individuals and property, I saw that I would be able to receive a varied training contract and gain insight into substantially different areas of law, allowing me to have a range of experiences before qualification. I had also witnessed first-hand, the open and friendly culture at the firm and saw that it was a place where the trainees have a good work/life balance whilst getting high quality work and playing an important role in the everyday team workload.
My training contract at Penningtons Manches has been diverse and I have been given a good amount of responsibility and client contact. During the training contract, I will rotate four times across four different practice areas, spending six months in each.
You are able to request what practice areas you would like to be placed within and the firm strives to accommodate your choices. So far, I have spent time within the Family and the Commercial Dispute Resolution team. Both teams have been extremely welcoming and as a trainee, you are valued as an important addition to the team.
Tasks for a trainee can involve anything that may assist the team, but typically may include completing legal research, drafting legal documents, drafting letters or emails, attending client meetings, attending court hearings, and preparing bundles. I have had opportunities to attend hearings regularly and go to both the High Court and the Court of Appeal. I have also been to court unsupervised with a client on a number of occasions, a great learning experience. While I have been given a lot of responsibility during my short time here, I have always been supervised and supported which has allowed me to learn and develop quickly. I have enjoyed working within different practice areas, getting insights into different businesses whilst also working for the different clients that the firm has.
Although there can be the occasional late night, it is not a regular occurrence at Penningtons Manches and as a trainee you have a good work /life balance. There are plenty of social activities held by the firm including; curry nights, theatre trips, cookery courses and historical tours of the local area. In the London office, each floor holds drinks and nibbles evening every month, on a Friday night.
There are sports teams to take part in including netball and football – with further opportunities to compete against other firms and clients in mixed matches of netball, cricket and football. Alongside this social perk, the firm has set-up a Charitable Foundation where there are plenty of volunteering opportunities open to staff. For the Foundation, I have recently spent a morning cooking breakfast for a homeless charity, taken part in the London Legal Walk, and I regularly visit a local school to read to children. My time at Penningtons Manches has been exciting and diverse making it a fantastic place to work.