I was offered my Training Contract in June 2017 and started as a Trainee at Whitehead Monckton’s Maidstone Office that September. I remember thinking that it was all a bit of whirlwind as I had expected to wait the standard 2 years before commencing but I’m so glad I didn’t. Starting that September although a little nerve wracking (which new job start isn’t?) was exciting and everyone was so friendly and welcoming. My first week involved a number of training inductions, meet and greets, visiting the other offices and lunch with the other Trainees. The latter was particularly helpful as they have now grown into my network base and if I have a question and don’t know who to ask, they are my first port of call!
At the end of my first week I was introduced to the Commercial Property department which is where I undertook my first six months. It is safe to say that at first I was a little cautious, I hated Property at University (both times!) so this was going to be a long six months. Thankfully not! The team were very welcoming and helped me to settle right in, they were aware of my hesitations but encouraged me to keep an open mind and I am glad I did, my view of Property law is completely different to when I walked in as a bright eyed Trainee.
From day one I was working on Reports on Title and Leases, drafting Leases, Private Loan Agreements and within my first two to three weeks I was Completing Sales and Exchanges of Contract. This all seemed crazy, I was new and had no experience but you learn that Whitehead Monckton entrust you with this responsibility because you learn quickly and your supervisors are some of the best. Also, you are not going to learn how to draft documents or exchange contracts by standing at the photocopier or making tea, you’re going to learn by doing it and asking questions; and there is always someone on hand to help. It is worth remembering that there are no silly questions, they were once where you are, a Trainee and asking that very question to someone too.
I am now on my third seat and where has time gone! This seat is in Commercial and Employment split between the Maidstone Office and Tenterden, I haven’t really been in the seat long enough to know what a typical day is but I can tell you that like the other departments, the team is friendly and welcoming. (Useful hint, if you end up in the Tenterden Office they love cake and chocolates and if you bake – even better!!)
So far in this seat I have undertaken research for a variety of matters and by doing so, I have already learnt so much. I have drafted employment advice to clients and documents that will be sent to Companies House.
The truth is, you never know what a fee earner will ask you undertake and most of the time you likely have never done it before but that’s the beauty of being a Trainee; your Supervisors expect that, and its all part of the learning curve. If you keep an open mind and ask questions, you will get on fine!
My next seat is based on what area I want to qualify into and currently I am not entirely sure, each seat I’ve been hesitant going into but each seat I have really enjoyed (once I’ve gotten to grips with it) and the teams are lovely. But despite being unsure, what I am certain of is that Whitehead Monckton is a friendly and supportive firm. They encourage you to have a good work life balance and to take part in the many social activities they offer such as their staff quiz night and the events for their Charity of the Year. But as a Trainee you are given time to volunteer at Citizens Advice Bureau and take part in Dementia Friends activities. The events are always a lot of fun and a great way to get to know your colleagues.