Since starting at Morton Fraser I've been asked to draft and review loan agreements, guarantees, missives, ranking agreements, standard securities and floating charges. In addition to the technical legal bits, I've been asked to represent a client at a property auction, deliver documents to various locations throughout central Scotland and assist with assorted business development events. As from September I'll be doing something different, and from March next year something quite different again.
Each time you move seats you are confronted with a totally different set of challenges, not only in the nature of the legal documents you are looking at but also in the nature of what you are being asked to do in the team. It's not unusual for trainees to spend six months in private client before moving onto corporate banking and the difference between the two areas is vast. It's almost as if you are working in a different law firm.
At the start you may feel that you are completely starting from scratch. But as you settle into the seat you start getting to know people and what you've learned at University begins to take a practical form as you work through the various tasks and begin to gain experience in the team.
The important thing is that at Morton Fraser I have found my senior colleagues to be knowledgeable, approachable and patient - although all very different in their approach! The attitude at Morton Fraser is that trainees are here to learn and making mistakes is part and parcel of the traineeship experience. That said, trainees are expected to learn and you should be confident about what you do know and be prepared to work hard to fill in the blanks. If there is one thing people expect you to have done it is to have had a serious go at finding out the answer - that and to have a notepad to hand at all times.
Some of you might be thinking: how can I best prepare for the traineeship? The bottom line is that in most ways you can't. You are going to be regularly asked to do things you don't know how to do, that you've possibly never seen before. You will be asked to assist on difficult and long running cases that you don't fully understand and you will sometimes find yourself under quite a bit of pressure. But if you are keen to learn, like being pushed out of your comfort zone and like having to think on your feet then the chances are you'll be in a good place to start a traineeship in a major law firm.