Navigating Zoe’s experience as a Trainee Solicitor with Gildeas

By Zoe

Zoe - trainee solicitor

1.Hi Zoe, could you please introduce yourself?

My name is Zoe, I am 22 years old and from Clackmannanshire. I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Bachelor of Laws last year. I then completed the Graduate Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at the University of Strathclyde earlier this year. I will officially graduate for the second time in November!

2. Can you please describe your overall experience as a trainee solicitor at Gildeas so far? What are your primary responsibilities and the areas of law you have been working on since you started your training contract?

I started as a trainee solicitor at Gildeas in May this year. So far, my experience at Gildeas has been a challenging but fulfilling one! I was handling new files within the first week of my traineeship and am now dealing with an increasing number of both personal injury and non-personal injury claims. I have also been assisting with the handling of my colleagues’ files, carrying out a variety of tasks including obtaining statements from witnesses and police officers.

I have particularly enjoyed becoming involved at the litigation stage of personal injury and non-personal injury cases. I am gaining experience of raising claims against both individuals and insurance companies and drafting appropriate court documents required to both raise and alter proceedings. Involvement in litigation work has allowed me to understand civil court procedures, particularly in relation to non-personal injury actions, as most actions I have raised so far relate to the recovery of uninsured losses and debt recovery.

3. How has Gildeas supported your professional development during your traineeship so far? Are there any specific training programs or resources provided to enhance your legal skills?

I have found the weekly trainee sessions led by one of our solicitors, Alastair Cameron, particularly informative. Each week, Alastair leads an interactive session with all trainees from both the Glasgow and Edinburgh offices. We have discussed various topics, from advocacy to the valuation of claims, with a new topic for each session.

These sessions provide a safe space for us to learn from each other. We can seek advice from each other and from Alastair so that we can address any concerns that have arisen over the week. It has also been extremely beneficial to have Hannah as a buddy – a fellow trainee who will soon qualify as a solicitor. She is always on hand to assist with any new task and answer the many questions I ask her! It is useful to learn from someone who was in my position as a new trainee not so long ago, who has already developed a great knowledge and understanding of claims handling and civil litigation.

4. As a trainee solicitor at Gildeas, have you had the chance to work on real client cases? If so, could you share an example of a significant case you have been involved in and the role you played in its resolution?

I have recently completed a research task, in which I found and collated case law to support the settlement offer put forward on behalf of our client. The client was involved in a road traffic accident in November 2020 and was not at fault. As well as sustaining soft tissue injuries, the client has experienced symptoms of tinnitus persistently since the accident, which have affected several aspects of his life. This research will support the argument put to the court that the offer made is reasonable when considering the nature and extent of our client’s injuries. The case has not yet settled but is due to be heard in court soon. I hope that my research helps us secure a favourable outcome for our client.

5. How does the firm’s culture and work environment contribute to your growth as a legal professional? Are there any particular aspects of Gildeas that stood out to you as a trainee?

Everyone at Gildeas is friendly and approachable, which is reassuring when I have questions or queries about outstanding tasks. This is the case both within my team and beyond. There is a positive working environment which is empowering yet not overwhelming. Although I am encouraged to expand my knowledge and face new challenges, I am confident that I would not be made to feel out of my depth. I have no doubt that as I progress both as a trainee and legal professional, I will continue to feel supported by all of my colleagues at Gildeas who have and will positively impact my legal journey.

Gildeas Solicitors have offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh and specialise in personal injury cases, including road traffic accidents.

We go the extra mile for our clients by providing services such as roadside assistance, vehicle repairs, and hire vehicles.

Customer satisfaction is our top priority. According to customer reviews , among civil law firms with over 200 reviews, we proudly hold the second highest rating in Glasgow. We currently have a stellar rating of 4.9 on Reviews Io and 4.7 on Google [August 2023].