DATE PUBLISHED: 03 Jan 2024 LAST UPDATED: 24 Jan 2024

A day in the life of a Family Trainee Solicitor

I started Ellis Jones Solicitors as a Paralegal working within the Dispute Resolution department for 11 months. I decided to stay in the Dispute Resolution department for my first seat as a Trainee Solicitor. I am really glad I did this as it was a nice way to ease into the transition from Paralegal to Trainee Solicitor. I decided to do my second seat in Wills, Trusts and Probate as I have never worked in a non-contentious area of law before and so I thought it would be beneficial for me to experience this to ensure that I really make the most of my period of training. I am now three months into my third seat in the Family department and so I have outlined a typical day in the life of a Family Trainee Solicitor.

8:45am: Arrive at the Charminster Office

Ellis Jones actively encourage hybrid working. I tend to come into the office everyday as I feel like I get the most out of my training as there are times when I will attend last minute face to face meetings with colleagues or listen into telephone calls for training. It is also easier to ask questions and receive feedback on work face to face.

9:00am: Sit down with a coffee and check my emails and respond to those that are urgent

It is extremely important that I start the day with a coffee whilst I check my emails. I always check my emails first thing in the morning to ensure that any urgent emails are picked up and responded to. It also helps to plan my working day prioritising the more urgent tasks.

10am: Sitting in an initial meeting with a new client regarding child arrangements

Attending initial meetings with my colleagues is one of the best ways to learn as you hear the initial advice that is given to clients and the next steps that are required to reach a resolution. I typically will take a note of the meeting on my laptop.

11:15am: Finalising my note of the meeting and drafting the Client Care Letter

I always tend to do this following a meeting and it is good practice to send the Client Care Letter to the client as soon as possible. I will also discuss next steps with my colleague and on this occasion, we agreed to send an initial letter to the mother regarding contact.

12:00: Drafting a Witness Statement

I have been assisting on a Notice to Show Cause Application. These types of applications are not our typical day to day work so I am really excited to be involved in these proceedings. Drafting Witness Statements is one of the lengthier tasks that you will do as a Trainee within the family department. It is important to allow a chunk of your day to do this.

4:00pm- telephone call to chambers

There is an upcoming hearing on a matter that I am assisting with, so I telephoned chambers to confirm availability of counsel and their fee estimate. I referred this information back to my colleague who I am working with for consideration.

4:20pm- Respond to the remaining emails in my inbox and any new emails I received throughout the day

There are times when I need to get substantive advice emails checked by my colleagues but some more straight forward emails, I will send myself. I will also deal with my to-do list for tomorrow at the same time.

I always record my time for the work that I carry out throughout the day and save emails to the firm’s central system as I go. This is good practice and ensures that nothing gets missed.

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