I never expected that the first three months of my training contract would go as quickly as they have. However, the time has flown by and confirmed that I made the right decision in accepting the offer to join Whitehead Monckton as a trainee. I couldn’t have wished for a better start to my legal career, particularly given the uncertainties that this past year has held for everyone.
My original plan was to travel to Australia and New Zealand before starting my training contract, but that was not to be. Instead, like many people my plans for 2020 were disrupted by the Covid Pandemic and my preparations took an unexpected turn. Following the completion of my LPC in 2019 I worked for the NHS in the Clinical Commissioning Group and the legal team at East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust during what turned out to be a particularly challenging period. My work exposed me to some of the legal complexities faced by the health service on a day to day basis, regular contact with the Coroner’s office and external legal counsel on some high profile cases. Whilst this was not the year I had planned, it was a rewarding experience and I learnt a great deal about myself and also the pressures of working in a public sector organisation subject to considerable external scrutiny from the public and the regulators.
Although initially I was disappointed at having to change my plans, I have undoubtedly grown in confidence and matured, meaning that I am better equipped for my role as a Trainee.
I started my Training Contract in January 2021 joining the Tax & Estate Planning Department for my first seat. However, the day after I started, the third lockdown commenced, and I have been working from home since. I have received immense support from colleagues as I have settled in. In spite of the unusual circumstances in which we have all found ourselves I feel that I have become part of the team and I have begun to form good working relationships with colleagues. It has been a time of learning for us all and I have really appreciated the extent to which people have welcomed me and the encouragement and development I have received so far. Under normal circumstances I would have had the usual from of induction into the company, but of course this had to be completed virtually and I spent my first week immersed in online training. Managing to integrate with colleagues through a virtual world has been an education in itself, but not only have I gotten to know colleagues, but I have also become familiar with some of their pets and they with mine!
Unfortunately a disadvantage of remote working has meant that the usual social interactions have been a little restricted, but there have been opportunities to participate in some events such as virtual quizzes!
I am now halfway through my first seat and reflecting back on my journey to get to this point I have a strong sense of achievement at staying the course and pursuing my dream of a legal career. The route into the law has not been entirely straightforward, but hard work and determination has been key to realising a long-held ambition of being part of Whitehead Monckton.