Trainee Insights - Back to the Future


In our Back to the Future campaign, we're putting expectation up against reality when it comes to Trainee seats. In this edition, Caitlin Spence (first-year Trainee) and Diarra Brown (second-year Trainee) compare notes. 

Caitlin: What skills do you think will be important for your training contract?Organisation, patience and a good attitude.

Diarra: What skills have been most important for your training contract?: Adaptability, confidence and understanding your clients’ needs. As a trainee its important to learn as much as you can and take in the wealth of knowledge and experience of those around you.

Caitlin: What do you think will be most difficult?The first time you really mess something up and have to figure out how to rectify it.

Diarra: What has been the most difficult moment so far?The age-old answer... bundling. It can be trickier than it sounds, but needless to say it always works out in the end.

Caitlin: What are you most looking forward to?Trying different seats - it's great that we get a chance to dip our toes into so many practice areas.

Diarra: What has been your best moment so far?Representing the firm at the auction of Centrepoint’s iconic letters earlier this year, the event raised over £88,000 to benefit homeless youth. During my Commercial Litigation seat I had the opportunity to attend multiple proceedings at the High Court in addition to a complex multiparty joint settlement meeting, which was a great learning experience.

CaitlinWhich seat do you think will be your favourite?Honestly - I have no idea. If I get a seat in Family, the client-facing aspect and human element like divorces might intrigue me the most!

Diarra: Was the seat you thought would be your favourite actually your favourite?I am now in my third seat and have built on my skills in each seat. I particularly enjoyed my time in Commercial Litigation, it’s a great team with a mix of complex and interesting work – I found the team to be extremely welcoming and fast-paced. I am now on secondment at Protect (UK’s leading whistleblowing experts) and I have found this experience to be invaluable.

Caitlin: What non-fee earning activities are you looking to get involved in at HK?I really enjoy charity work - so the day out for CentrePoint coming up I'm sure will be great fun. And obviously the Christmas and Summer parties...

Diarra: What non fee-earning activities have you been involved with at Howard Kennedy?I was elected to sit on the Charity Committee during the first year of my training contract, which has been a great opportunity to meet colleagues in the wider firm through fundraising, meetings and events. I have also enjoyed being able to utilise my creative side to author articles for the firm’s website and compose the Charity Committee newsletter.

Caitlin: Why did you choose HK for your training contract?It was the only assessment day that I attended where I felt comfortable and free to be myself. I even mentioned a very strange life-guarding trick regarding Pamela Anderson in my interview - and somehow still managed to get an offer!

Diarra: What have been your impressions of Howard Kennedy after a year at the Firm?The firm is ambitious and undertakes an interesting mix of work, I have had the opportunity to work with some great forward-thinking people.

Authored by Caitlin Spence and Diarra Brown

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