Case study

William Sharpe — Trainee solicitor

Addleshaw Goddard

William studied undergraduate law at the University of Strathclyde before completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at the University of Glasgow. He’s now a trainee solicitor at Addleshaw Goddard (AG)

What attracted you to Addleshaw Goddard as a firm?

I was first drawn to the firm after meeting several trainees and associates at a number of university-organised networking sessions and hearing about the culture of the firm first hand from those currently working there.

How did you secure your training contract?

I undertook the firm's spring vacation scheme when I was in the third year of my LLB, an experience designed to see if I was a good fit for the firm and vice versa. By the end of my week placement I had no doubt that AG was the firm for me, with it being clear that the firm lived up to its promises of providing an inclusive and nurturing environment where I could really see myself getting the most out of my traineeship. Fortunately, the firm also thought I'd make a good fit, and I was offered a training contract when I finished university.

What does your training contract involve?

So far I have undertaken seats in the Corporate team and the Restructuring team and I have recently begun my third seat in the Real Estate Finance team. My day to day is kept exciting by undertaking a wide variety of tasks, and engaging with interesting clients providing work that is consistently of a high quality. For example, in the Restructuring team, I have undertaken work that has reached into other areas of law such as Corporate, Commercial, Finance, Conveyancing and Litigation, allowing me the opportunity to practice in all these different areas of law and keep things interesting.

I have particularly enjoyed that as well as working as part of a larger team to deliver bigger deals, I am also given the trust and responsibility to work on smaller matters myself. Smaller matters provide great opportunities to improve on client management skills, with you being the main point of contact for clients, as well as getting the opportunity to go about matters in your way and put your developed skills into practice. The fact that the firm provides trainees with such opportunities at such an early stage, demonstrates the trust and confidence that the firm puts in its trainees.

What training and development have you received?

The firm is devoted to ensuring that the training received by trainees is second to none, with trainees receiving team-specific training at the beginning of every seat, then ongoing training sessions throughout the seat including a variety of non-legal training, such as regular commercial awareness updates.

The training resources that the firm provide are of the highest quality and it is clear when you are undergoing these sessions that they are being led by experts of those subjects and you really are learning from the best. Our learning from these experts is not limited to the training sessions though, as we are encouraged to reach out to such experts for advice or assistance whenever needed in order to best equip ourselves for our work and our own development.

Together, all of these elements provide the perfect environment and resources for trainees to really get the most out of their traineeship and learn as much as they can in each of their seats.

What do you enjoy about your job?

One of the things I have enjoyed most about my traineeship so far is the exposure I have had to clients. Having worked in a law clinic for several years, while at university, I was worried that I might not have as much day to day exposure with clients working in a large corporate firm. It didn’t take long to realise this was not something I needed to worry about, as I have had great client exposure form the get go. This exposure is not only from day to day work with clients but also the numerous business development and client relationship events I have been invited to and have taken part in. This has allowed me to get to know our clients on a much better level, improving my existing client relationships, but also allowing me to develop my own network and create new client relationships.

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