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Emma Richards – Trainee Blog

Emma Richards

March 2023

This month I have moved back into the Dispute Department but spending the majority of the time assisting the Family team. This is great, as it gives me some more experience in a different area of contentious law.

The team is really friendly, and I think the benefit of a smaller team is that it feels quite close knit and very supportive.  I have already had a lot of client contact, in the forms of emails, phone calls and face to face meetings. In addition, I have also had the opportunity to go to court for family hearings.  I have done a considerable amount of drafting whilst being in the department, and have received a lot of guidance in doing so.

This is my last seat before qualification, so I’m looking forward to this final big push before qualifying in September.

February 2023

February has been my last month in the Employment department. Next week I will be going back into the Dispute Resolution department for my last six months before qualification in September.

I have enjoyed my Employment/Corporate seat and have been given the opportunity to get involved with both departments and work alongside a number of different fee earners. In the Employment seat, my work has been largely research based, but it has been interesting researching and learning about different aspects of Employment law.

Whilst being sat in the Employment team, I have still had bits of work from the Corporate team, which has been a nice mix. Everyone within both departments are extremely friendly and approachable and everyone is willing to answer absolutely any questions.

I am looking forward to the upcoming months back in Dispute, as qualification is upon the horizon!

January 2023

January, like most other months has flown by with there being a relatively busy start to the new year. I am still in the Commercial department, but doing three months’ in Employment, before I move seats again.

The new year is a great time to re-focus and definitely helps with providing a second wind of motivation when it comes to work. I have been kept busy within the Employment team, generally carrying out fairly extensive research tasks. I want to qualify into a contentious area of work, so spending the time in the Employment team has been a valuable experience.

This month we also has the firms’ AGM, where we discussed the culture of the firm in great detail, highlighting the things we love about the firm and also things that we’d improve. The conversations taking place were really encouraging that the firm is an evolving and accommodating place to work.

It is only 4 weeks until we move seats again, and then only another 6 months until I finally qualify! I am excited to see what these next 7 months bring

December 2022

December has come around incredibly quickly this year. I came back from annual leave to a different seat in the commercial department, so I am now working within the employment team. The commercial seat, more recently, has been split into three months of corporate and three months of employment.

Throughout December, the firm has had several Christmas related events on - such as individual department Christmas meals, the firms Christmas drinks at the Hilton, various lunches for trainees and not to forget Christmas Elevensies.

I have really only been in the employment team for around 10 days, so haven’t done a lot yet however, so far I have had the opportunity to attend client meetings with one of the partners in the team, along with doing research for various matters.  I’m looking forward to after Christmas to really get stuck into the department and see what the area is really like

November 2022

This will be my last month in the Corporate department before I change over to do three months in Employment.

I wasn't sure what to expect coming into Corporate, as I knew I hadn’t had much experience with the area and wasn't an area that I initially had a strong interest in. The team has been extremely welcoming and very helpful.  I have enjoyed the range of work that I have been given, such as research, drafting long agreements, drafting forms for companies' house, attending client meetings and undertaking various searches to name a few.  I have found that I have developed a greater understanding of how company's are formed and how the mechanics of a company works, which is something I didn't previously grasp fully.

Towards the end of the year, the firm are doing some great events such as our pre Christmas event, which is a good opportunity for all the departments to socialise with each other. I will be ending my time in the department with 10 days of annual leave and going on a sunny holiday. Despite enjoying my time in the department, I'm excited for a break and some warm weather!

October 2022

I have now been in the Corporate department for almost two months. I have been made extremely welcome, and the whole team are really helpful.

I have been involved in multiple client meetings, drafted various things for different deals, such as partnership agreements, shareholders’ agreements and share purchase agreements to name a few.

I have also been involved in some employment matters, as the employment team operate on the same floor as corporate. I have sat in on an employment tribunal and undertaken extensive research for a number of the partners in the employment team.

The work so far has been meaningful and all of the team are more than willing to help with any questions or issues that have come up. I’m looking forward to the next couple of months in this department!

August 2022

This month was my last in the department. I can’t believe just how quickly this seat has gone! It’s been just as busy as every other month and I’ve spent a large amount of the month trying to tie up any loose ends before the next trainees come into the department.

It would be fair to say the amount of responsibility that we have been given as trainees in this department has rapidly increased over the last two months. This has been great as it gives a more realistic feel of the pressures but also rewards of working within a busy department. Some tasks that I have done this month include reporting on title, drafting land registry forms, drafting transfers for the purchase of land, dealing with leases and a couple of completions.

We have also had a couple more work experience students in the department, so we spent some time preparing tasks for them and guiding them through their time here. It was nice to see students engaging and enjoying the work we had set for them.

My next seat is in the Commercial department. That seat will be split into 3 months in Commercial and 3 months in Employment. I am particularly looking forward to spending some time in the Employment department, but I think both will be interesting. To finish my time in the department, I have a week of annual leave booked off. It will be nice to unwind and reset before starting in a new department!

July 2022

Unsurprisingly, July has been yet another busy month in the Property department. The department never seems to be quiet, which is great as it means that there is always plenty of work to do.

This month I have been doing tasks such as drafting SDLT forms, various land registry forms, replying to requisitions, reporting on title and lease reports, to name a few. I have also had a noticeably significant increase in client contact, which has been great for starting to build relationships with clients.

This month we had our charity golf day. The weather was beautiful and we had a great turn out. It was really nice to be out of the office and doing something public facing - it gave us the opportunity to chat to lots of different people, in a really lovely setting.

In addition, it was the annual Driffield Show in July too. Spread over two days, we had a stand there and a mixture of lawyers and trainee’s had the opportunity to go and represent the firm at the show which was again a great opportunity to see and talk to lots of people. Having a keen interest in farming, I absolutely loved being able to spend the afternoon at the show with work and being able to have a look around.

I can’t believe that we only have 4 weeks left in this seat before we move on and then I’ll be halfway through my training contract - it seems like only yesterday that we started!

June 2022

June started with a holiday for me, so I came back feeling nice and fresh from what had been a busy few months.

The department seemingly only got busier over the next few weeks.

I was involved with several completion on matters that had been going on for a while, so it was good to see these finally conclude. I spent time doing other tasks in addition to the completions, such as lease reports, drafting land registry forms, submitting searches and drafting report’s on title.

We also had our vac scheme students in the office in June. The trainee’s put together the work for the vac scheme students to complete whilst in their seats, and it was good to meet a range of students all with different interests and goals. It was good to be able to offer some advice in terms of the LPC and obtaining a training contract and it was nice to see them gain confidence by the end of the scheme.

Lastly of things to note, I had my mid-seat review in June, which was good to get some feedback as to how I’ve been during the seat and also to set some goals for the remainder of the seat.

Having the same supervisor throughout the training period has been really good, because they can monitor the difference in performance in each seat. I can’t believe just how quickly the time is going!

May 2022

Another busy month in the Property department, seemingly for all of the lawyers, not just the trainees! This month I have been tying up the loose ends for a quite complex completion which has been interesting.

It’s been good to see how all the various components tie together and I feel as though I am getting more familiar with the conveyancing process and feel a lot more confident in my ability to carry out tasks and understand how a transaction is progressing.

Work wise, I have also been drafting SDLT returns, doing searches, drafting various Land Registry forms and liaising with clients.

It’s been good to have some more direct clients and build on relationships and be able to feel like I am doing meaningful work for people. This has definitely increased my confidence and makes the work overall more interesting.

Other than ‘work’, we also had Elevenses this month, and had a talk by Hull 4 Heroes which was interesting and something I’m planning to get more involved with in the future fundraising wise.

I spend the last 10 days of May in Greece on some much anticipated annual leave. Despite having really enjoyed my time in Property and the work I’ve been doing, it was lovely to get away and have a nice rest!

April 2022

It’s been an increasingly busy month in the Property department. I’ve been enjoying having very full days with lots of interesting work to do.

I have had a number of completions to work towards this month, and it was really good to be given that responsibility and experience, whilst still being supervised closely. It has definitely allowed me to gain more experience but not feel completely out of my depth. I have had more direct contact with various clients that I am working on matters and liaise frequently with other side’s solicitors, again all of which provides a very hands on experience.

I have done other tasks such as drafting transfers, completing searches, drafting leases, drafting reports and various smaller research tasks. Interestingly, I didn’t think I’d be interested in Property due to the transactional nature of it, but I’m finding that the variety of the tasks and the complexity of it is very rewarding.

It was also my first chunk of annual leave this month! I have loved starting my training contract, but it was great to put my feet up for a week and recharge after what has been a very busy start to this seat! I am looking forward to what is in store for this coming month.

March 2022

This has been my first month in the Property Department here at Rollits. It has been a baptism of fire and a big adjustment, but one that I am thoroughly enjoying.

My work load has increased significantly and I am working to tighter deadlines, which I personally actually enjoy more as it keeps me motivated.

Coming in to the department, everyone has been very friendly and welcoming. It helps too that this is my second seat, so I have managed to find my feet more within the firm.

I have been given a lot of very varied work, by a number of different people in the department, all of which have been extremely helpful in providing feedback and guiding me in the right direction.

I have already had more client contact and been involved in an array of transactions

I been involved with a legal charge matter this month, involving investigating the title, drafting the relevant documents for the charge, liaising directly with the client in order to execute the charge, arranging insurance policies and submitting the relevant documents to the bank. This has been valuable, to understand the process required.

I have also had the opportunity to do tasks such as drafting a lease renewal, drafting letters on behalf of clients, making applications at the Land Registry, submitting SDLT returns, liaising with clients, reviewing contracts, to name a few. I have also had the opportunity to assist in the purchase of some agricultural land, supervised by my senior colleague which is proving to be an excellent opportunity as it is forcing me to really think about how the process takes place.

I feel as though I am already gaining a good understanding of the commercial conveyancing process and that I am undertaking important and meaningful work whilst being given more responsibility.

I am thoroughly enjoying how busy I am in this seat, and I am very much looking forward to how my work load will vary and increase in the upcoming months. I am also very grateful to be guided by the lawyers in this department, as their experience and knowledge is brilliant, and they are great to learn from.

February 2022

This has been my last month in the Dispute Resolution department. It has been a quieter month so I took this as an opportunity to complete my core modules for my PSC. I spent 10 days in Leeds doing this and finished the 10 days with an exam. It is good to know that these are out of the way and I won’t have to worry about doing them further into my training contract.

Other than that, I have done a few tasks such as drafting instructions to counsel, drafting advice to clients and further legal research. I am very much looking forward to starting my seat in the Property Department next week and see what an entirely different area of law will have in store for me

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