Departments to date: Commercial Property, Real Estate Finance
University: King’s College London
Degree: Ancient History
9.00 am: I tend to come into the office early as I am not a morning person, and it takes me a couple of cups of coffee to wake up. Arriving early allows me to gently ease myself into the day! I receive daily legal updates and REF articles so start by having a quick read of them. I then make a note of anything that is relevant to the work I am doing at the moment. My first task of the day is to go through my matter list, which I update weekly, and amend my daily to do list, which I made the night before, based on any emails that have come in overnight.
9.30 am: The key task for the REF trainee is to handle the conditions precedent checklists which are an integral part of a REF transaction and a great responsibility. At the end of a transaction, we need to make sure all of the conditions precedents can be ticked off so it is really important to be on top of this!
I start by updating the checklists and then follow up with the relevant parties, which can either be overseas counsel, the solicitors on the other side, or another department internally. This task is a really good way to grow in confidence and measure your progress as you can assess what is needed and then proactively follow up. I have a query on one of the updates, so I speak to the associate who is supervising me. Everyone in the firm is genuinely committed to ensuring that you progress so I feel very comfortable asking questions even if they initially seem daft. As the associate is also next door, I can just pop my head round and ask!
12.00 pm: We have a weekly team meeting to catch up on matters. This helps to ensure you are in the loop on all the current matters and also helps with the allocation of work. After Covid it is also nice just to catch up with colleagues! We have regular know-how sessions during the meetings, in addition to the firm wide updates and specific junior training. Everyone on the team presents including trainees, senior associates and paralegals so you really feel a part of the team and are encouraged to contribute. Once the meeting is over, I go back to my desk and write up any notes I have made. if I have been allocated new matters, I quickly read into them and make a note of the next steps I will need to take.
2.00 pm: MT is in a great central location, so the juniors and trainees usually pop out for lunch as a group and if it is sunny, we sit in one of the many parks dotted around. Once I am back at my desk, I make a start on drafting a deed of release and the other necessary documents for a redemption. I have drafted similar documents before so look back at the helpful feedback I have previously been provided with in order to improve. Most of the time the feedback is delivered in person and the team always takes the time to talk through any queries that I may have, so I feel confident knowing what I am doing and can enjoy the work. In addition, my supervisor asks me to draft a structure chart for a new matter, so I set to work analysing the heads of terms to report back later.
4.00 pm: At MT trainees sit next to their supervising partner so it is easy to ask questions and learn by ‘listening in’ on how they handle matters. My supervisor and I informally go through the structure chart I have drafted, and I am encouraged to explain my reasoning for the choices I have made with the supervisor often playing devil’s advocate. At MT you really feel like you are an integral member of the team and that the work you do is valid, an example of which, is after this discussion there is a team meeting for the new transaction, and I present the structure of the deal to the team who ask questions, which thankfully I know the answers to!
4.30 pm: MT have a strong CSR commitment and there are often events on, which more often than not involve cake. A couple of colleagues and I have a quick tea break whilst eating cupcakes in support of the chosen charity. I then pop back to my office and draft a consent letter. This is for a minor matter where I am the lead fee earner, it is a great to be the first point of call both for the client and the partner on this matter!
6.00 pm: Just before 6pm I prepare to attend one of the firm’s networking and seminar events. We have a number of really interesting talks throughout the year from, on a whole host of subjects from 50 Shades of Green to Co-Living. The event is for both members of the firm and clients, so it is a great opportunity to put names to faces.