Making the jump from trainee to qualified solicitor

Sheridan Hendzel is a solicitor in our Dispute Resolution team in Bath. Having qualified in March 2017, she is eager to share what awaits at the end of your training contract.

The initial transition

Firstly, I must say, the time has flown by…in a good way. I have been involved in and taken on a plethora of cases across a range of sectors. My work has involved high value banking disputes and healthcare litigation to the negotiation of high-profile sports contracts and transfers. I have learned a vast amount and received an immense level of support. I already feel like I have always been at this desk in this team. I can barely remember the constant niggling doubts I endured during my training contract and my confidence, responsibility and independence has multiplied exponentially.

For me, the day I qualified was, of course, a great celebration but also a bizarre feeling. I just didn’t feel any different at first. I worried a bit that suddenly I would be expected to achieve great things with no safety net. Thankfully, I was only partly right. I was expected to achieve great things, encouraged to contribute ideas to the team and pushed to do better but I still have a number of colleagues willing and ready to support and school me when I need guidance.

It is only now, due to writing this blog, that I realise the transition has been and gone. It was easy because of my experience and the training I gained from the leaders around me. I have already settled matters, mediated matters and resolved disputes with commercial solutions. However, I am still training and gaining experience to work towards being recognised as a specialist solicitor; a leader in my field.

Looking to the future

Whilst my matter list increases and I gain experience in many different areas, I am keeping a closer eye on my business development activity. Now is the time to gain new clients, grow my network through digital marketing and offline activities, and hit my targets. I take on more responsibility as time passes, which involves drafting new policies, representing the team in firm-wide initiatives and projects, providing training and presentations to the team and contributing to the focused growth of sector-specific areas.

It is also time to relax a bit, enjoy team building days, nights out and lunches with my new work buddies!

I am already looking ahead and working towards the next chapter, in what is proving to be a rewarding and challenging career. You will have it all to look forward to and, although I am clearly biased, it will be that much sweeter when you train at Royds Withy King.

Find out more about the work Sheridan and our Dispute Resolution team does here.

Contact us if you have a question about being a trainee solicitor at Royds Withy King

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