Trainee Blog – More to Life (as a Trainee)
More to Life (as a Trainee) than Learning the Law!
Life as a trainee solicitor isn't just about learning the law! Whilst during your training contract you're expected to learn and understand the technicalities of the law, this is only the starting point. You also get very involved in different types of business development.
Business development is all about networking and connecting with people and businesses to cultivate relationships. It's then the hope that people will remember you and will choose to use your firm's services when they need them - or you might need them.
At Band Hatton Button, myself and the other trainees are encouraged to develop our networking skills by attending social events ranging from firm events, to events with other young professionals and local businesses. We're not expected to generate our own work from these events but they allow us to practice our networking skills and are a great way to build our confidence. It can appear a daunting experience for a trainee, going up and talking to someone who they have never met before and of course you are representing your firm - I know when I first attended my first networking event I was unsure what to expect. However, networking isn't as bad as you might think and I have found that the more events I have attended, the more my confidence has grown and the easier it has been to strike up a conversation with someone.
Junior Lawyers and Young Professionals
Events organised by junior lawyers and young professionals are a good starting point when learning to network as you get to meet and speak to others who are often in the same position as yourself so you have something in common to talk about. The events I have attended are very varied and range from quizzes and evenings with professional speakers to rounders, pizza and trampolining! Most events tend to be informative but fun as well!
Band Hatton Button Charity Ball
Often as a trainee you might be asked to participate in a firm event in which you have certain responsibilities.
September 23rd 2016 marked the return of the firms highly anticipated Charity Ball organised in support of the Heart of England Community Foundation, a charity which gives grants to support community projects across Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull. The ball saw almost 200 business people attend and raised £6,000.00 for the charity.
As a trainee I was involved in decorating the venue ready for the ball, selling raffle tickets to raise money for the charity, handing out auction prizes and updating the firm's social media accounts - we're on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. By assisting the firms Head of Marketing, myself and the other trainees ensured the event ran smoothly. Supporting the local community is a big part of the firm's ethos and I was grateful I could contribute by fundraising for our nominated charity.
Leamington Business Show and Coventry & Warwickshire Business Expo
As a trainee of a law firm you also have a responsibility to be the face of the firm wherever you are. During my training contract I have attended both the Leamington Business Show and Coventry & Warwickshire Business Expo on behalf of the firm. In doing so I have been the face of the firm, promoted our brand and have let potential clients know more about what we do.
By taking part in these types of events you are able to engage with local businesses and it teaches you how to deal with potential clients on their level. Often you will get to meet fellow professionals such as accountants, surveyors, bankers etc and by building a rapport with professionals in other industries you could be establishing your next avenue for future work or source of advice for future transactions which could be invaluable in the future.
By being involved in business development early on in your training contract shows you that being a trainee isn't one dimensional and that there are many skills which contribute to being a successful solicitor.