Posted by Sheridan Zegveldt, Solicitor
A week in the life of… a Private Client trainee solicitor
I thought I would provide a blog that would give an insight on a typical week as a trainee now that I am mid-way through my first seat.
Monday, Tuesday, *Happy Days*
I began Monday morning drafting a long letter on a Court of Protection matter. This was in preparation for a meeting with our client, their family members, the Deputies and a five strong team that have been involved in the matter (myself included). The meeting was over four hours and involved a beautiful lunch prepared by our client’s family. I came out of the meeting with greater understanding and an urgent task list.
I would have to consider financial accounts and future financial projections for the fund whilst reviewing a large bundle including all of the investment decisions taken on the fund, witness statements, Court Orders and correspondence with various parties before taking on my drafting tasks!
Tuesday morning I reviewed a large number of Wills and drafted a few too. I had a lot of post as it was my first day back in the office after 3 days out, so I had a number of meetings to arrange with clients and several grants to send out.
Wednesday , Thursday *Happy Days*
Mid-week involved preparing for a round-table settlement meeting in a contentious probate matter by reviewing the files, case law and legal principles, correspondence, previous offers and the client’s most recent instructions.
I was involved in researching the intestacy rules for new instructions for a potential beneficiary of a person’s estate and also the Administration of Estates Act for various other queries.
I had to open a file for a new matter I would be taking care of. This involved steps like data input, conflict checks, risk assessments and due diligence. The matter could be dealt with quickly and we had the information we needed already so, I provided the advice almost immediately. By the end of the week, the matter had been completed and I was then in a position to generate an invoice and close the matter.
On Thursday afternoon through to the evening, I attended a seminar on contentious probate arranged by Royds Withy King and St John’s Chambers. Topics included the recent effects of the Brussels IV Regulations, the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 cases and Donatio Mortis Causa. During the interlude we had tea, coffee and scones and once the various speakers had completed their talks, we had an opportunity to network with others attending over wine and canapés.
Friday *I have to wait two days until Monday!*
After a week of lots of drafting and lots of long meetings, I needed a “catch-up” day, dictating attendance notes, sending out emails, drafting more forms and contacting the Probate Registry to be very polite because I NEED those papers sharpish!
Of course, being a trainee is all about juggling tasks and prioritising work to maximise your efficiency. Time management is fundamental to achieve a smooth day and I enjoy feeling under a bit of pressure. I am able to monitor my workload and plan ahead so that I can tell my supervisor what my capacity is.
I confess I have missed out all of the admin jobs I do because what makes a day fly by, can sometimes make for a boring blog. At least you know that you would have a varied week, responsibility and many opportunities to learn more by attending seminars and settlement meetings when you become a Royds Withy King trainee.
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