A Day in the Life of a Trainee Solicitor in the “For You” Family Team

Start your day
8:30 am
10:15 am
10:30 am
4:50 pm
5:15 pm
5:30 pm
8:30 am

Arriving at the office, I review notes for my 9am client’s fixed fee appointment, made a few months ago. I have been in the Family Department for 11 months, having decided to qualify in this area, and I have been meeting new and existing clients by myself for a couple of months now.

11:45 am
12:05 pm
12:45 pm
2:00 pm
2:30 pm
3:50 pm
8:30 am

Arriving at the office, I review notes for my 9am client’s fixed fee appointment, made a few months ago. I have been in the Family Department for 11 months, having decided to qualify in this area, and I have been meeting new and existing clients by myself for a couple of months now.

10:15 am

I check my emails and my ‘to do’ list for the day, before speaking with my supervising solicitor to see if there is anything specific he would like me to do.

10:30 am

One of the Partners is on leave and I have been asked to look after one of their clients in their absence. I take a call from the client ahead of the court hearing which will take place on the following day, discussing the other side’s preliminary documentation and Counsel’s Note for the Court. The hearing is the first of 3 potential hearings in matrimonial financial proceedings, and at this point we are mainly concerned that there has not been sufficient disclosure from the other side. After I type up an attendance notes from the call, I read through all of the papers so that I am familiar with the file ahead of attending the hearing with Counsel.

11:45 am

I ask my supervising solicitor for some advice about my 9am client’s tentative agreement which she has reached with her husband. We discuss the merits of the agreement and what is required for an agreement to be approved by the courts and be turned in to a consent order. As a trainee solicitor at Tollers I am not afraid to ask for help. Although I have my own case load, Tollers have an outstanding support network, as such I am never left struggling.

12:05 pm

My supervising solicitor and I sit down to review another client case we have been working on.  Having previously received a Questionnaire from the other parties’ solicitor regarding our clients finance matter, our client has now sent to us the documentation required to accompany the replies he would like us to make on his behalf. Together we read through everything thoroughly.  As a trainee solicitor this way of working assists me to then be able to draft the necessary replies and prepare the accompanying documentation ready to send to my supervising solicitor who can then check everything and send the documents out to the other parties solicitor on behalf of our client.

12:45 pm

Lunch time – I decide to eat my lunch and go for a walk.  It is important to take time away from my desk and I find that going out of the office helps me clear my head and prepare for what I have to do after lunch.

2:00 pm

I check emails that have come in over my break and review my ‘to do’ list, responding where necessary and taking notes of anything clients have requested of me.

2:30 pm

One of the first clients I met by myself for an initial appointment has come back in for a scheduled meeting. The divorce has now been issued – after some negotiations with the other side – and the client wants to discuss their next steps. I explain and we complete the Acknowledgement Form. He has been sofa surfing since he and his wife separated over 6 months ago and he is keen to resolve financial matters as soon as possible. After discussing the options, I am instructed to make a without prejudice offer to try and avoid lengthy and costly court proceedings. I dictate my attendance notes from the meeting for the file, letters to the court and the other side enclosing the Acknowledgement Form, and an offer letter to the other side giving them 7 days to accept.

3:50 pm

Having previously prepared the preliminary documentation for a Children’s Act matter where we have a final hearing coming up, I review the documentation as amended by my training supervisor. Our client has applied for a Child Arrangements Order in respect of his baby son, as the mother is opposing him spending time with his son both away from her home and overnight. I then prepare the Bundle and send a draft Index to the other side for agreement.

4:50 pm

A client emails me to tell me that some changes are required to her Financial Statement (Form E) and confirms that she wishes us to sign the statement on her behalf. I make the amendments and prepare the statement and the accompanying documentation ready for my training supervisor to sign.

5:15 pm

I open a file for a new client I met with yesterday, it is important to keep everything up to date and advise my training supervisor that the file has been opened.

5:30 pm

I go home. There are times when I stay late either because something needs doing or because I have started something and don’t want to lose the train of thought or the flow, 9 times out of 10 I go home on time. Although as a trainee solicitor I am keen to make a good impression, I feel no pressure to stay late just for appearances sake.

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