Why did you choose to join Shakespeare Martineau?
There were many motivating factors to joining Shakespeare Martineau. The main draw was the firm’s investment in its people and ambitious growth plans which really impressed me, especially given that trainees were seen as a central part of these ambitions.
What was it about our culture that attracted you?
The ethos of the firm and departure from ‘traditionalism’ was attractive. The emphasis on bravery and authenticity demonstrated that individuality is valued. You can be unequivocally and unapologetically ‘you’. As such, the culture here is flexible, encouraging and fosters and supports our growth, both as a firm and as individuals.
What does a typical day look like for you as a trainee solicitor?
This varies on a daily basis and is driven by your seat. Generally, I start by checking emails and touching base with my colleagues. I then work through matters, which is usually a blend of liaising with clients, drafting documents and conducting legal research. But, no two days are ever the same.
What has been your favourite moment of your training contract so far?
Completions are always interesting. During my corporate seat, I was fortunate enough to attend the office and assist on ‘completion days’ for deals of varying sizes. A highlight for me was helping the team complete on a £70 million share sale on the final day of my seat. It was a rewarding culmination to both my seat and the months of hard work we all did on the matter!
What is the biggest challenge you have had to face as a trainee and how have you overcome it?
The prospect of starting my training contract remotely was daunting. A major part of the training process is to watch a team in action and absorb information by osmosis. I was concerned that being physically removed from the office could limit this. But, the teams have all adjusted incredibly well to remote working and I proactively contact colleagues to ‘simulate’ the office experience. If anything, working remotely has opened up lines of communication with colleagues across the country and exposed me to new work!
What is your favourite thing about the firm?
The people. Everyone I have encountered and worked with has been welcoming, knowledgeable and helpful. There is no artificial sense of hierarchy and trainees are encouraged to share their thoughts and get involved in matters.
What has been the most valuable lesson of your professional career so far?
To ask questions and give your opinion. You may not always be right, but you will always learn something.
What is your ambition for the next five years?
To continue to learn, achieve results for an ever widening client base, and support the firm’s expansive growth plans.
If you could travel back in time and speak to yourself five years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
To keep going, continue to get involved with new opportunities and travel while you can!
Do you have any top tips on applying for training contracts?
I would encourage candidates to reflect upon their experiences, think about the ‘value’ extracted and demonstrate how you have applied this going forward. However, my top tip is to be yourself – this is what truly distinguishes you from the other candidates.
A highlight for me was helping the team complete on a £70 million share sale on the final day of my seat. It was a rewarding culmination to both my seat and the months of hard work we all did on the matter!
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Arron joins our latest group of trainees.