There are many advantages of training in a regional firm compared to a larger city or magic circle firm.
The main advantage is probably the responsibility that you are given from day one.
As a Trainee in the Litigation department at our head office in Bury, I work directly with the Managing Partner of the Firm. This affords me the opportunity to gain invaluable experience learning from a Legal 500 ranked lawyer who has over 20 years’ experience in the area and who is an accredited Member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Scheme. In a ‘Magic Circle’, or City law firm it would be very unusual for a trainee to work with somebody so high up in the firm and you may never even meet the Managing Partner.
I have been given the responsibility to conduct the initial meeting with the clients and take an active role in all stages of the litigation process – from meeting the clients and taking their instructions, to drafting Particulars of Claim and other formal documents, to liaising with Counsel and relevant experts and attending Court hearings/trials.
This differs somewhat to training with a larger firm where the interaction with clients/counsel/counterparts is very limited and a large proportion of work is centred on more research based and admin tasks.
The litigation work is very varied at the Bury Office which has allowed me to gain experience in a greater number of areas which is crucial for making a more rounded and knowledgeable qualified solicitor. The areas I work in are clinical negligence, contentious probate, and commercial and property litigation.
There is no such thing as a ‘typical day’ working in the Litigation department; one day I could be reviewing medical notes/reports for a potential clinical negligence claim, the next I could be in a conference with Counsel discussing case strategy or drafting a letter of claim in a boundary dispute – no two days are the same and this is what I find most interesting and engaging.
Working at Butcher and Barlow allows me to put into practice what I learned at University and see how the legal principles you learn at an academic level translate into everyday use in a commercial and business environment.
At Butcher and Barlow, you are valued as a key member of the team in the firm and treated as such. This is reflected in the opportunities you are given to be heavily involved in all stages.
I have found that having this exposure, although at times difficult, has given me the confidence and skills I need for when I qualify to become a competent and successful solicitor.