I chose Winckworth Sherwood because I wanted a training contract with as much variety as possible, and I have not been disappointed. My first three seats could not have been more different from each other.
My first seat was in the Parliamentary department. To me this was a bit daunting; not only was I going to be working in a law firm for the first time, it was going to be in an area of law I knew nothing about!
However, the team, and especially my supervising partner Hazel Anderson, were incredibly understanding of this. I was given plenty of opportunity to settle in to both the firm and the department. I quickly came to realise how fascinating the work that the team does is. I had so many fantastic opportunities during my first six months including sitting in the Houses of Parliament at Committee hearings on more than one occasion. I can also say that I am proud to have been the trainee in the team when the HS2 Bill became the HS2 Act – something the team had been working on for many years.
My next seat was in the Private Client team. The nature of the work was so different to in Parliamentary that I was able to develop many new skills. I had the opportunity to have more of a role in dealing with the individual clients. This was one of the most interesting parts of this seat: I was able to really get to know the individuals we worked with and to help them achieve what they wanted to.
The work ranged from the drafting of wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney to dealing with the management of large family trusts. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to assist in setting up new charitable trusts.
My third seat is in the Social Housing team. At the time of writing, I have only been here a couple of weeks. I have, however, already had the opportunity to start managing my own files and been given a good amount of responsibility. As with all my seats, there is plenty of support within the team and I always feel able to go and ask for help when needed.
There is plenty going on at the firm besides the work. Over the summer months, I attended a couple of rounders matches with the Private Client team. I have also just taken on the position of trainee representative on the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. We are in the process of planning the annual Christmas Fair and deciding how else we can support our current charity of the year, Dementia UK. Each Tuesday lunchtime I attend a local primary school to assist children with their reading; this has been a particularly rewarding experience and trainee participation is encouraged by the firm.
My first year at Winckworth Sherwood has been a steep learning curve but in a very positive way! By being given real work from the very start, you quickly feel like a useful part of the teams you are placed in. I am very much looking forward to the year to come.