What's it like to be a Trainee Solicitor


Mia Siddique

Trainee Solicitor

Womble Bond Dickinson

I obtained my training contract with Womble Bond Dickinson during my third year of studies at the University of Reading, where I completed my undergraduate law degree. Being socially mobile and coming from a non-Russell Group university, I found the search for a training contract incredibly daunting. However, something that struck me about Womble Bond Dickinson in particular was their continuous reinforcement on the importance of 'being yourself'. I made sure to only be my authentic self throughout the recruitment process, which I believe largely contributed to me landing the training contract. The firms #BeYourself campaign embodies this message and is something I have continued to adopt throughout my time with the firm.

I have completed seats in Commercial Disputes and Regulatory, and Commercial/Data/Tech. Although these two seats are vastly different from one another, they have been similar in terms of expectations. Due to the great work/life balance I have achieved across both seats, I am able to be a part of plenty of networks and groups. For example, I am part of the South Hampshire Junior Lawyers Division and also the London Young Lawyers Group, both of which allow junior lawyers access to support, advice and networking opportunities, which are all very important to a young professional. I am also on the firms Sports & Social Committee where I assist with organising events, such as our summer and Christmas party, as well as smaller monthly events within the firm. These events are an integral part of forming work relationships across the firm and include team building activities, quizzes, bowling, sports games and more. I am also part of WBDPride which is an LGBTQ+ affinity and ally group with a mission to foster equality for LGBTQ+ individuals. As part of this, we host events and talks throughout the year which work to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ citizens.

A few exciting projects I have been involved in so far include a data breach case, where I worked with the client to mitigate the impacts of this, as well as a director disqualification case where I worked closely with legal counsel in order to build a case for the client. This allowed me to build on many necessary skills on becoming a solicitor, such as organisation, attention to detail and greater negotiation skills.

As part of the Commercial team, I have worked closely with organisations to ensure their policies and practices align with the new UK data transfer tools that came into force in March 2022. These tools provide appropriate safeguards required under UK General Data Protection Regulation to transfer UK personal data to countries that are not covered by adequacy decisions, so are extremely important for organisations and businesses to adhere to. My time in the seat also largely involved reviewing customer and supplier contracts, as well as assisting the Corporate team with Commercial due diligence in M&A transactions.

During my first seat I was also involved in producing a Climate Change mini-series on LinkedIn, where we share short interviews with organisations in the retail space, covering areas such as waste, sustainability and emerging technologies. As climate change is an evolving topic I have always been very interested in, I was allowed to continue with this in my next seat and have since published the second article of the series where I interviewed the Director of Food and Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium and shared ways in which retailers can accelerate their progress to Net Zero emissions. I am grateful that my firm have allowed me to continue to play a part in bringing awareness on this topic, and I hope to continue with this into my next seat in Real Estate.

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