Admittedly not a strong start as after work I returned home, looked at my gym stuff and considered going running for a second, but couldn't resist the sofa's allure so plumped for Netflix instead. However, please read on as I assure you it does get more interesting than that!
Our closest bar host a pub quiz on a Tuesday evening - a great excuse for a mid-week G&T and a catch up with the other trainees. Unlike the other pub quiz we used to frequent, we quite often rank on the podium, winning one of the prizes!
'Pub-quizing' (is that a verb?) promotes the following: a healthy competitive attitude, logic and reasoning skills, a thirst for knowledge and, most importantly, honesty (that is, NOT googling the answers under the table!) - all useful attributes to becoming a successful solicitor.
We take part in an informal hockey league during the summer which is great fun and have had five fixtures this season against various other law firms. The weather for this particular match was, in stark contrast to the previous one, a total wash out. The torrential downpour may have soaked our clothes but we didn't let it dampen our spirits as we triumphed with only a slight defeat.. It's the taking part that counts anyway, yes? On a side note, to any hockey pros reading this and entertaining the idea of applying to us for a traineeship - please do!
Playing in the hockey league is not only a great way to strengthen the relationships with your colleagues (it's all about team work!) but also to meet members of other law firms. As the Scottish legal community is a small one it is highly likely you will cross paths with the lawyer you are tackling, so no underhand tactics as you don't want to create a bad impression!
EYP, the Edinburgh Young Professionals, is a group set up to encourage informal networking among young professionals working in Edinburgh (surprisingly). There is also the Glasgow equivalent, the GYP. They are free to join and offer a range of events, their most recent one being a Perrier-Jouët champagne tasting masterclass which some of the other trainees and I attended. We learnt about the history and process of making champagne which was very interesting, whilst enjoying a glass of the same. I also attended their Fashion and Fizz private shopping event in December which was great fun; browsing the Stockbridge Boutique's winter collection whist enjoying Christmas canapés and meeting other young professionals. Networking is an invaluable skill to develop throughout your legal career but seems quite daunting at first which is why these events are so great as the atmosphere is relaxed and you know everyone is at the same stage as you.
I would recommend you also join SYLA, the Scottish Young Lawyers' Association. This association compliments EYP as they organise more academic events, mostly lectures by experts on certain areas of law and paths within the legal profession. This is very useful as it gives trainee lawyers the opportunity to hear about numerous different areas of the legal profession from being an advocate to an in house lawyer. There is always an opportunity to chat with the speakers afterwards - a great chance to practice your networking skills!
It has become tradition at Morton Fraser that the current first year trainees go out for dinner with the new trainees before they start work. I can't believe it was a year ago that I, rather nervously, attended my year's welcome dinner and already the time has come to organise one for the new trainees. Needless to say, it was a great way to round off the working week and seemed to fulfil its purpose of making our new colleagues feel less daunted about the prospect of starting their traineeships.
This is only a snippet of the activities and events trainees become involved with; other events include:
- helping out at client networking events - you often get to attend the events too;
- organising and attending the firm's summer BBQ - we were soaking up the sun on our balcony this year well into the evening until the annual pub quiz;
- the Christmas party - trainees also have the opportunity to become a member of the organising committee which, if you love organising like I do, is great fun;
- the obligatory organisation and hosting of the annual Burns Supper - a Morton Fraser tradition eagerly anticipated by many;
- for those in need of relaxation there are Pilates and meditation classes which run in the office; and
- we also have netball and football fixtures against other law firms.
I hope I have successfully demonstrated to you that a traineeship here at Morton Fraser allows for great social opportunities as well as top class legal training.
Do you have any questions about the trainee recruitment process? Get in touch! I've experienced it all first hand and I'm more than happy to answer any questions you might have.