Our Question Time campaign answers common queries raised by Howard Kennedy Trainee candidates. So here's the inside scoop!

In the first year of my training contract at Howard Kennedy, the most enjoyable aspects were the level of responsibilities given to a trainee, the diversity of work or client types and the big or small teams I have worked with.

I had Family as my first seat and Residential Real Estate as my second seat. Despite the differences between contentious matters and transactional matters, I have had direct contact with clients, counsels and opposing solicitors in both seats and I have been given real responsibilities in running the transactions from start to finish. The firm provides truly valuable real-life experiences for trainees to learn and practice in a seat and I particularly enjoy completing a transaction independently when I am up against partners or senior associates from other law firms on a matter!

The training contract at Howard Kennedy allows me to maximise my learning capacity and, through day-to-day work I have been able to improve on communication with difficult parties, handling unexpected complexities in transactions or case management where there are tight deadlines. I have enjoyed cross-practice matters which allow me the opportunity to work with colleagues in different departments and specialised fields - these moments have really developed my knowledge and understanding of practice areas and sectors laterally.

While challenges and difficulties are common in everyone's training contract - first time dealing with a technical point, moving from big to small teams or vice versa, steep learning curves in the first couple of weeks of a seat - there is always support within the firm and someone you can turn to. The firm runs a mentoring and buddying system in addition to the assigned supervisor in each seat, so that whenever I have questions, whether on the subject knowledge or on the training contract itself, I can always find guidance or advice.