Blog: Training to be a solicitor at Gildeas

My journey with Gildeas began in the summer of 2016 when I was fortunate enough to secure work experience with the firm for a month.

I had just completed the third year of my undergraduate law degree and was keen to gain practical experience. Little did I know that I would be starting my traineeship with Gildeas two years later!

Following that initial stint with the firm, I returned to work part-time there during my diploma year in 2017/18 and started my traineeship here in September this year.

In my time with Gildeas I have experienced a great deal that I do not believe would have been so readily available to me anywhere else.

The traineeship is not entirely what I expected. For some reason I thought I was going to be treated like a university student where I would be given something to read and then asked to write a report on it.

However, I have been encouraged to take responsibility for my own learning and given my own caseload. The practicality of the traineeship is a complete contrast to my undergraduate degree.

Although it is not what I expected I am thoroughly enjoying my traineeship. This could be because of the advantage I had in knowing my work colleagues before I started. I did not have the usual butterflies on my first day! I knew I would be coming into an extremely supportive environment.

My traineeship is in personal injury law, primarily dealing with road traffic accidents, but the workload itself is extremely varied.

In my first two months I have had the opportunity to attend Court, police precognitions and client interviews.

I realise that at this stage I am not expected to know everything, and at no point have I felt overwhelmed. My team has been very supportive and they encourage me to ask questions so this has helped me to pick things up quickly.

I have also been dealing with other departments in the firm and this has enabled me to create strong working relationships with my colleagues in a short space of time.

I understand that my legal career will be a continual learning process. However, rather than being daunted by this prospect I am happy to know that my job will forever be interesting.

I am very excited about the future and my legal career as a trainee solicitor.

Lauren McGhie, Trainee Solicitor