The day in the life of a Trainee Solicitor at The Wilkes Partnership

Charlotte Keys

Trainee Solicitor

The Wilkes Partnership

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Charlotte Keys is a Trainee Solicitor who is currently working within our Real Estate team at Stanton House. In this article, Charlotte provides a detailed account of what a usual day looks like for a trainee within the department at the firm.

  • 8.30am to 9.00am – Arrive in the office; get water or cup of tea and catch up with colleagues. Check emails and look at to-do list made the day before and adding anything else I may have remembered once I left the office.
  • 9.00am to 9.20am – Discussion with supervisor to review work that I have completed and talk about how to tackle upcoming tasks for today/next couple of days. This can include: looking at previous matters to get examples of similar drafting that I can use to assist me; discussing who I may be able to call outside of the firm to provide help with things like obtaining VAT information in relation to our corporate client or assisting with a redline plan of the property we are selling/leasing, and directing this to people within the firm who may also be able to assist.
  • 9.20am to 10.30am – Draft lease using PLC precedent and information provided by a client; contact client to check details where necessary. We do this to ensure accuracy and avoid having to correct things later down the line. I then send this to my supervisor to review.
  • 10.30am to 10.35am – Raise a slip for monies expected from buyer’s solicitor (deposit monies), this means that when the monies arrive we save time because finance knows what they are in relation to and can make the necessary entries on the client’s ledger.
  • 10.35am to 10.50m – Print lease and rent deposit deed engrossments for another matter – bind these ready to be sent to client for signing – the binding machine takes some getting used to (help from the secretaries is invaluable!).
  • 10.50am to 11.15am – Reply to emails and enjoy a pain au chocolat break (a treat from my supervisor)
  • 11.15am to 11.35am – Research into correct procedure for contracting out of the LTA 1954 (security of tenure) when there is a guarantor – use Practical Law Company to do this, putting into practice what I learnt during the LPC research module.
  • 11.35am to 11.40am – Discuss research findings with a colleague to further my understanding – it makes a lot more sense when someone talks it through with you, and it’s nice to chat with a colleague at the same time.
  • 11.40am to 12.10pm – Amendments to rent deposit deed previously drafted following an email received from the client with comments. The process of clients reviewing drafts can be really helpful (and there are always some tricky clients so it is good experience).
  • 12.10pm to 12.55pm – Drafting contract for sale using PLC precedent and information provided by client – sending to my supervisor for review – once I’ve sent it for review I can put it to the side and concentrate on other tasks.
  • 12.55pm to 1.45pm – Before I go on my lunchbreak, I check and reply to emails, and update my to-do list if haven’t already. Once completed, I’ll take some time to myself on my break.
  • 1.45pm to 2.00pm – Check emails and reply – sometimes I need to send a draft email to my supervisor to check before sending; it’s an opportunity to learn, especially if it is a complex area.
  • 2.00pm to 2.55pm – Draft deed of surrender using PLC precedent and information from client – send to my supervisor for review.
  • 2.55pm to 3.05pm – Raise slip to send completion monies to bank, client, and client’s agent (as per completion statement we have prepared) – there’s some Excel spreadsheet involvement for the completion statement but nothing complicated (using a precedent statement where the formulas are already done for you!).
  • 3.05pm to 3.30pm – Amendments to draft lease following review by supervisor – tracked changes on Word so I can easily follow the amendments (it is satisfying to accept changes once approved).
  • 3.30pm to 3.50pm – Checking and replying to emails and a short tea break!
  • 3.50pm to 4.00pm – Exchange of contracts by telephone – a nice opportunity to talk to a solicitor at a different firm; most are cheerful!
  • 4.00pm to 4.50pm – Amendments to a draft contract and surrender following review by my supervisor – it’s good to see them taking shape following further amendments – send to client for further review.
  • 5.50pm to 5.00pm – Completion call with purchaser’s solicitor – again, a good opportunity to chat with a solicitor from another firm.
  • 5.00pm – 5.15pm – Check and reply to emails – I forward any I am unsure about to my supervisor for further discussion.
  • 5.15pm to 5.30pm – Prepare my to-do list for next day(s) before leaving for the day – speak to my supervisor/other colleagues who have set the work about deadlines so that I can prioritise.

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