Being a Trainee during Lockdown – We’re all in this together!

I’m a paralegal here at GoodyBurrett, soon to be completing my LPC and moving onto the next steps of becoming a trainee.  There are thousands of trainees in the UK starting or in the midst of completing their training contract in a very rare situation – during a global pandemic!  So, what’s different about being a trainee solicitor during coronavirus?

The main change for starters is working from home! GoodyBurrett are now fully operating from the comforts of their sofa and sometimes even their dressing gowns… We have gone from a busy office space to working independently without the luxury of being able to pop your head into a colleague’s office.  Interactions between my colleagues and I are now held through telephone calls, zoom calls and emails rather than arranging a face to face meeting or enjoying a coffee morning.  This change has meant that this period of my career, where I am learning the most, has been extremely different to other solicitors that have trained in previous years.

As a paralegal, completing my LPC whilst at a firm, this means I have the opportunity to learn brand new areas of law and get a feel for what it will be like when I become a trainee.  Our mission is to learn as much as we can in each area of a new law in a few months, and the world of coronavirus has presented this experience on a whole new level.

I have found this period to be challenging.  I am not just able to pop my head into a partner’s office and quickly ask a question.  I am not able to have a quick chat with a solicitor about their opinion on something as I walk past their door.  Instead I have had to be flexible and patient, and sometimes wait a few hours for a response to a question if someone is busy or on a call.  I have come to appreciate more than ever how important the flexibility within my role has been to my teams.  Not only do I need to be available for everyday research or drafting for solicitors, but I also need to have an understanding on administrative tasks such as bundling or costs retrieval.  The benefits are that I am learning a lot faster than I would have done in an office space and have become more independent, instead of relying on asking too many questions!  In the long term, I know my training will be better for it.

So, if you are a fellow paralegal, currently studying, or a fellow trainee, nervous and struggling whilst working during a pandemic, we’re all in this together!  In the long term, it will make you a more flexible, forward-thinking and mindful solicitor.

The rapid global spread of coronavirus presents unprecedented legal and commercial challenges for all businesses.  GoodyBurrett is committed to supporting clients and keeping our normal working hours through the challenges the pandemic presents.  Please feel free to still call our main line on 01206 577 676 to contact us here.

If you have any questions about the GoodyBurrett trainee application process, or managing working from home, you can email us at [email protected] or take a look at our other blog posts here.

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Contact GoodyBurrett on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]