Michael Hatchett's first impressions of being a Trainee at Howard Kennedy


My first impressions of being a trainee at Howard Kennedy are... 

What are the firm's pro bono opportunities and how have you got involved? 

There are loads of pro bono opportunities and the extent to which you get involved is almost entirely up to you. The two main pro bono initiatives you will find at Howard Kennedy are Toynbee Hall and LawWorks. 

Toynbee Hall was traditionally a face-to-face operation, where clients would meet volunteers in person. Although meetings are now held over the phone, you will still have the opportunity to advise on a huge range of issues, it's good fun (and all for a great cause).

LawWorks on the other hand allows groups of volunteers from Howard Kennedy to internally "bid" for a project and run the matter themselves. Working on these projects has been particularly interesting and I have enjoyed "managing" a file and advising pro bono clients.

How approachable are your supervisors?

My supervisor (who also happens to be the Head of the Department) is incredibly approachable; we are often on the phone and we regularly video chat, so there is ample opportunity for me to ask questions. 

Since I joined Howard Kennedy I have been told "there is no such thing as stupid question" from colleagues at every level of the firm – overall, I have found people are very approachable, from Paralegals to Partners. 

Also, it's worth noting – with an open-plan office – Howard Kennedy fully embrace an "open door policy" (whether we're in the office or working from home).

What are you hoping to get out of your Training Contract?

A practicing certificate…………… and of course, good friends, experience and the skills necessary to lead a successful career. 

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