Next month, about 400 trainee solicitors in Ireland will become fully qualified. Finally at the finish line of the qualifying marathon – a journey not without its ups and downs! – relief and triumph are generally the first emotions to be felt by newly qualified solicitors.
However, it is natural to feel slight apprehension. A brand-new professional expert might not have the frame of reference an experienced one has when it comes to what’s expected. Will there be a great change in the workload? Will fee-earners and partners interact with you in different ways? What is lost in qualifying?
We at Ogier Leman have consulted our newly qualified solicitors to find out what to expect when you qualify. Here are some of their tips:
- More Opportunities for Input or Ideas
Very rarely do lawyers-in-training get opportunities for creativity. Really innovative fee-earners charged with their mentoring might seek their input occasionally, but for most busy teams, this is impossible to make time for. A real upside of ascending to qualifying level is greater potential for the kind of lateral thinking that wins difficult cases, closes transactions, and solves complicated problems. As a qualified legal expert, you get to decide what approach to take that is in the best interests of your client – whereas, as a trainee, you merely follow one!
- Greater Workload; Less Admin
You might often experience, as a legal trainee, a regular sensation of being stuck at the top of a never-ending To-Do list. This is – unfortunately – not a sensation unique to those lowest in the legal pecking order! From partners to interns, everybody on a productive legal team has both busy and slow seasons, and you will always have to rely on a collaborative team mentality to get things done. On the bright side, a qualified lawyer has an opportunity that a trainee doesn’t – delegating printing, posting and prep!
- Networking is Necessary
This is particularly important or those starting at a new firm. Imperative to gaining clients and creating a polished profile as a solicitor is the building of a strong internal and external network. For a solid internal network, get involved in the company’s social events, sporting clubs or Friday night drinks. For a sprawling external network, stay in touch with any contacts you have made, inside or outside of work in the last few years, as much as you can. Plus, don’t be afraid to reach out digitally. Take advantage of any social connections and add them on LinkedIn.
Lastly, now that you’ve triumphed over your training, we advise you not to forget to enjoy it. Congratulations, from all of us at Ogier Leman.
Ogier Leman congratulate all solicitors-to-be and wish you the best of luck in your legal career. For more information on our own legal services, please visit www.leman.ie or find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook.