Case study

Claudia Chan — Trainee solicitor

Clyde & Co

Claudia studied for a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at the University of Bristol before completing a Masters of Law (LLM) at BPP University. She now works as a trainee solicitor for Clyde & Co

How did you get your job?

I attended the vacation scheme and I was subsequently offered a training contract.

What’s a typical day like as a trainee solicitor?

One of the best aspects of being a trainee solicitor is that work is never monotonous. I'm never sure what kind of emails or tasks I'll receive throughout the day. It also changes depending on what kind of department you're sitting in.

For example, in litigation seats, I will often be drafting letters to the court and reviewing other court documents such as witness statements or claim forms.

Transactional seats involve reviewing agreements, various research tasks and other administrative matters as well.

What do you enjoy about your job?

What I enjoy most about being a trainee is that I am constantly learning new things every seat, be it in the specific industry itself or in the tasks as a lawyer in that specific department.

What are the challenges?

One of the challenges is learning how to prioritise different tasks and manage your own time effectively. It is quite common to be given a number of different tasks by different case handlers who are unaware of how much capacity you have to work on the task. This can be overwhelming, so it is important not to take on more than you can handle and to ask questions if you are unclear.

In what way is your degree relevant?

My law degree has given me the foundation to understand complex legal concepts and it has given me the skills to undertake effective research.

What are your career ambitions?

At the moment, I'm trying to figure out where my interest lies so I can pick the correct specialty to qualify in next year.

How do I get into law?

  • Attend as many law events as possible, be it open days, law fairs or talks held by law firms. Not only will this be an opportunity to expand your network, but it is also a chance for you to develop an interest in a specific area of law.
  • Stay updated on the news. It is useful to develop a general knowledge of what is happening around the world, in addition to legal/corporate developments.
  • Have interests or hobbies outside law. This will allow you to show more of your personality to law firms and develop skills that are useful in your career as a solicitor. For example, having a part time job can demonstrate your time management and people skills.

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