A Day in the life

Isaac Jong (on secondment at a leading insurance client)

Tuesday

My team generally are hybrid working which means that some days we are in the office and some days we work from home. Tuesdays are anchor days where everyone gathers in the office to catch up.

Day in the life of a Trainee Solicitor

7.30am

I like to start my mornings with a cup of coffee whilst reading the news. Personal finance has always been a passion of mine, so I steer my daily reading towards finance and investments.

8.30am

I start making my way to the office. The route to work is a nice walk so I take this opportunity to get some fresh morning air whilst listening to music, lo-fi being the go-to as it is apt for the weather (cold and gloomy!).

9am

We use a desk booking app and we’re advised to always book our desks one week in advance. Tuesdays are the busiest so real estate around the office gets taken up quick. Fortunately, I was able to secure a seat by the window.

I log in and see what emails have arrived with tasks to do. I usually flag the emails which require actioning and respond to any emails which I can answer straight away.

The work revolves around commercial advisory work, drafting and research around the main source of regulatory rules and guidance. I have done varied work in this seat so far such as drafting NDAs, international data transfer agreements, service agreements along with reviewing the FCA Handbook, ASA Guidelines and data protection legislation.

9.30am

My first task will depend on what needs prioritising. Today, that is a research task around the regulatory standards surrounding the authorisation of medicine and drugs in Northern Ireland. I was asked to produce a note summarising the pre and post Brexit implications surrounding the matter which included the introduction of the NIMAR list. 

10.30am

It’s time for a coffee break. Since most of the team is in, a few of us make it a point to grab coffee just to catch up. The go-to spot is Rosslyn in the city. Coffee breaks have always been a good way for me to get to know the team more and to build closer relationships.

11am

After coffee, it’s time for our weekly team meetings. This is where we discuss any interesting piece of work that’s come around and address any queries that colleagues may have. Think of it as a collective brainstorming session where we solve problems together.

This time around, the senior solicitors attended a conference the week before so they also shared their learnings with the wider team.

12.30pm

It’s now time for lunch. A group of us head up to the cafeteria (which has an amazing view of the Shard!) to get food. Today, the special on the menu was lasagne!

1.30pm

After lunch, I return to my desk and review my emails just to see if anything urgent has come in during lunch.  

I receive a query from the head of business development, enquiring if he could terminate a contract with a third-party service provider under specific circumstances. I first review the contract he sent across and follow that up with a call to address his queries and provide my advice. Throughout my time here, I've been trusted to handle my own meetings without supervision with the wider business. Following the call, I produce a short note summarising what was discussed to ensure that we were both on the same page. It's always good to keep an audit trail after all!

2.30pm

I meet up with my supervisor for our weekly one to one catch ups. We usually discuss my workload, feedback, and any queries that I may have. He often then briefs me on new tasks that he would like to me to be involved in.

As a trainee, I often remind myself to speak up especially if I am facing any hurdles with work or if there’s a specific area of interest I would like more exposure in. Ultimately, it is my training contract and I need to make the most out of it!

3.30pm

After the meeting, my supervisor sends me the relevant emails for the tasks he has put me on.

I then also receive an email from a senior solicitor in my team, requesting due diligence assistance surrounding the requirements and regulatory hurdles in being an overseas reinsurer in foreign jurisdictions such as Kuwait, Ethiopia and Kenya.

3.45pm

I called the senior solicitor on TEAMs to further understand the task he’s assigned to me. As a trainee, it is very common to be pulled into larger projects whilst they are ongoing and it’s easy to fall into the trap of carrying out a task in silo. Where possible, it’s always great to obtain background information and understand the context surrounding the grander scheme of things. This way, I can produce quality work effectively and efficiently without going off tangent.

4pm

I end the call with the senior solicitor and tidy up my own personal note from our meeting. From the meeting, I curate an action plan to ensure I address all the main research points when carrying out the task. Following that, I carried on with the task.

5.15pm

It’s now time to log off and enjoy the evening. I enjoy cooking a lot, so I usually cook dinner then head to the gym or play table tennis as a local club.

My time on secondment so far has been nothing short of amazing, filled with quality work and lovely people. It’s allowed me to gain a new perspective of being in-house with a client. Overall, an experience I would highly recommend to anyone who has the opportunity!

Read our next graduate trainee diary

Learn about the day in the life of Callum Clynes, a Trainee Solicitor here at DAC Beachcroft.

Read here

Next steps

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