Case study

Trainee solicitor — Jamie MacGregor


University and degree subject: Jamie gained a degree in Scots Law and a Diploma in Professional legal practice at the University of Aberdeen. He’s now a trainee solicitor with Dentons

Why did you decide on a career in law?

Law interested me initially as the extent to which laws apply to our everyday lives is never truly appreciated. While studying, I found myself particularly interested in commercial law and decided I would enjoy a career in it.

What attracted you to the firm?

Dentons are an attractive brand as a growing firm, have a globally recognised logo and are consistently ranked alongside the top firms. What particularly attracted me was the diversity of employees and the exposure to high profile work without the need to consider moving to or working in London.

What was the application process like?

I was fortunate enough to be offered a traineeship following the Central Belt Summer Vacation Scheme. The application process for this was relatively simple, an online platform within which all the usual details are asked for (i.e. personal and academic details) followed by a few questions about me and why I was applying for the vacation scheme. An assessment centre and interviews followed this.

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

I choose to work from the office most days, on a Monday and Tuesday we have a morning virtual team meeting. Where possible, matters I can run myself (with oversight) are delegated to me, meaning that most days I will have a plan of the work I need to get through that day. Inevitably there will be a few things that require attention on an ad-hoc basis.

What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

Being a trainee, leading on the less complicated matters allows you to take ownership and plan the next steps. Working in this way means that you feel competent and there is a level of satisfaction when the matter is closed knowing that you did the majority of the work.

What are the challenges?

The main challenge is learning that not everything needs to be completed ASAP. Those giving work generally do not expect it to be done immediately and a conversation about the deadline for a piece of work is important to understand where it should lie in your priorities.

Can you debunk a myth about working in law?

While not really a myth, it is important to remember that partners and associates are people too. They have families and hobbies and time permitting will engage in normal conversation. Don’t be scared of partners.

What are your career ambitions?

To qualify into the area of law in which I apply for as an NQ and hopefully progress to partner one day.

Why should future trainees consider applying to the firm?

The seats you having during the traineeship are not decided at the outset, meaning that as you progress during your traineeship you are not tied to preferences submitted before joining the firm. The training at Dentons is highly regarded, the people are approachable and everyone is willing to help if asked.

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