In our Back to the Future campaign, we're putting expectation up against reality when it comes to Trainee seats. In this edition, Rosie Morris (first-year Trainee) and Josh Page (second-year Trainee) compare notes.
Rosie - What skills do you think will be important for your training contract?I think being organised and being able to manage your work load is crucial. As a trainee you are involved in a lot of different matters and are working with a number of people in your team, making sure you are on top of everything and knowing where you are with each matter is crucial.
Josh - What skills have been most important for your training contract?I've found as a trainee you're often juggling multiple matters from different members of the team. So time management and organisation are very important. The varied nature of the work means there have also been many times when I've needed support from other areas of the firm, so teamwork and communication skills are equally valuable.
Rosie - What do you think will be most difficult?Probably changing seats as you will have to get to grips with a whole new area of law.
Josh - What has been the most difficult moment so far?Having conduct of the closing stages of a large transaction in the Banking and Real Estate Finance team. It was a lot of responsibility, but a great experience and exposure to dealing with a high-pressure situation.
Rosie - What are most looking forward to?I think completing my first transaction or settling my first contentious matter.
Josh - What has been your best moment so far?Following the completion of a large transaction, our team was invited to a dinner hosted by the client. A lot of hard work went into the deal from all parties over a number of months, so it was a great opportunity to celebrate and socialise with the client and the lender on the other side of the deal.
Rosie - Which seat do you think will be your favourite?I change my mind on this every week (but so far so good in the Construction Team).
I think my first decision needs to be between contentious or non-contentious, as I'm enjoying them both so far!
Josh - Was the seat you thought would be your favourite actually your favourite?I had an open mind going into both my seats. Both were very different types of work. I particularly liked the mix of contentious and non-contentious work in the Business Advisory & Tax team in my first seat.
Rosie - What non-fee earning activities are looking to get involved in at HK?I'm excited about the charity day. Every person at the firm is allowed to take one day to do something for charity. At the moment people have been doing the "BlagIt" challenge for Centrepoint homelessness charity (this is when you go around and try to get shops/people to donate items for free).
I also played my first ever tag rugby match for the firm, I spent most of it being confused about the rules but it was still great fun and definitely something I'd recommend getting involved with.
And of course all the trainee social events (the last one was a cocktail masterclass).
Josh - What non fee-earning activities have you been involved with at Howard Kennedy?I've volunteered at the Toynbee Hall free legal advice centre. I also participate in LawWorks' Unpaid Wages Scheme, in which Charlotte Towerton and I recently obtained a favourable settlement for our client.
I've also taken part in football tournaments organised by the firm's clients and charity events such as a 10k race and annual firmwide quiz.
Rosie - Why did you choose HK for your training contract?The culture was a big thing for me, I wanted to be somewhere which was welcoming and friendly. So far it's definitely lived up to that.
Josh - What have been your impressions of Howard Kennedy after a year at the Firm?I've experienced seats on three different floors of the firm now. Each one has confirmed firstly that it really is a cracking view from the office, and secondly that the people throughout the firm make it a friendly and dynamic place to work. It feels very non-hierarchical, which creates a training environment that promotes asking questions and developing skills.