Trainee Solicitor, Ellie Boreham, talks about working at Furley Page as a Trainee

Posted by Ellie Boreham

Solicitor

What does your typical day look like?

At the moment my typical day involves the morning spent reviewing the matters that I have been working on the day before, answering client emails and compiling a ‘to do list’ for that day.

After lunch I meet with my supervisor, Myfanwy McDonagh, who is a Partner and Head of the Residential Property Team. This is an opportunity for me to discuss the matters I have been working on and receive thorough feedback on the work I have completed that morning. If I have any questions or concerns this meeting also gives me an opportunity to raise them. Myfanwy is particularly good at ensuring that I fully understand the legal basis behind each decision made and next step, and will often refer me to sources of research to further my understanding of the legal issues involved.

What have been your trainees highlights so far?

During my seat in Vulnerable Client I assisted in making an urgent application for an ex-parte injunction. This was my first experience of a court application of this type.

We were assisted by a Partner from the Dispute Resolution team and this gave me an appreciation of the importance of being able to effectively work alongside different teams on complex matters, so as to draw upon different areas of expertise.

I assisted in preparing the application, sat in whilst counsel were instructed and attended court when the final injunction was issued. I enjoyed being able to see this application through from beginning to end.

What interesting challenges have you faced whilst being a trainee?

As a trainee you are sometimes placed outside of your comfort zone, particularly when faced with a situation you have not experienced before. For example, during my time in Vulnerable Client, I would visit clients who had limited capacity due to illness or disability, which would often make communicating a challenge. As I progressed through the seat I found that I felt more confident in this situation, and am now able to communicate effectively with a wider variety of clients.

Has your perception of the legal sector changed since being a trainee and if so how?

Since becoming a trainee I think I have gained more of an appreciation of how a law firm operates as a business. In particular, I appreciate the importance of firms adapting to changes and challenges within the legal sector to ensure that they continue to offer quality legal advice in what is an increasingly competitive market.

What training/support have you received whilst being a trainee?

The training and support I have received so far has been excellent. At Furley Page there is a real sense that everyone wants to see you do well, and this is reflected in the level of support you receive both formally and informally.

Recently we had the opportunity to undertake a Myers Briggs assessment day to identify our MBTI character type. This training helped me to understand how best I like to communicate and interact with others, and apply this understanding to my professional development. I found this training very revealing and was grateful for the opportunity.

What was your perception of Furley Page prior to joining us and has that changed/met your expectations – if not why not?

My perception of Furley Page prior to joining was of a large regional firm with a good reputation. I researched the firm (which included reading the trainee blogs!) and perceived the firm as having a friendly culture whilst also being progressive, which made it feel like a good fit for me.

Furley Page has definitely met my expectations, and I am very happy working here.

Are there any misconceptions about being a trainee which you can now set the record straight on?

As a trainee at Furley Page you are supervised in undertaking important work for real clients. I think it is often assumed that trainees will only ever undertake low level tasks and observe the work of others, but I have found this not to be the case.

Was it a difficult transition from classroom to office in terms of applying your legal knowledge to real life clients?

In my opinion, the LPC is helpful in preparing you for the reality of legal practice. However, no amount of time in the classroom will fully prepare you for the reality of working in a law firm; for example, at no point during my degree or LPC did anyone teach me how to prepare a trial bundle. That said, I don’t think this should put anyone off pursuing a legal career - you’ll be surprised how quickly you learn on the job!


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