I wanted to start my career in a full service law firm, which had expertise in both private client and business areas of practice. Thomson Snell & Passmore reached out to me because of it its (very!) long standing reputation for excellence in both areas.
When you start, you have a three week onboarding programme which sets you up so you do not feel out or your depth. They also run social events, including an outing and dinner with the current trainees, so you get the opportunity to meet people throughout the firm.
Since I have started my training contract, no two weeks have ever been the same. Not only is the work varied but the trainees are encouraged to attend business development and networking events as well as Law Careers fairs and training programmes. As a member of Law South, you will complete your Professional Skills Course training with trainees from other firms from around the South. These courses are always both informative and sociable, and include a three day residential course in Reading, where you focus on the law firm as a business and personal effectiveness.
I started my training contract in the Family Department which, from the outset, was extremely interesting. I had direct client contact from the first week and attended court hearings throughout Kent, Sussex and London. For my second seat I was with the residential property team, one of the busiest in the firm, where I began to run my own transactions from start to finish under supervision, this is a key skill for junior solicitors and I was lucky to have it so early in my training contract. My current seat is commercial property, which is again a very busy department. I have continued to run my own files for business clients, including some household names. I have assisted on some complicated transactions and have been given the opportunity gain varied experience within the department.
The firm has the right balance of challenging you and supporting you. Your dedicated trainee supervisor not only mentors you but ensures you are getting the right type and amount of work. Other solicitors and partners, as busy as they are, take the time to explain the background behind a transaction or case and any other relevant issues.
Making sure you complete your training contract at the right firm for you is vital. Thomson Snell & Passmore was definitely the right choice for me. The valuable skills and experiences I have gained are a solid foundation for my career as a solicitor.
The first thing I noticed about Thomson Snell & Passmore was that they kept in touch. Throughout the year between winning the training contract and starting I received invitations to several of the Firm’s events, as well as information and advice. Seats were applied for over the summer so that I knew before even arriving which areas I would be in over the two years. This meant I had a lot more certainty than many friends at other firms. It also means most people train in the departments they want to.
When I started at Thomson Sell & Passmore I went straight into a well-structured and comprehensive onboarding and training programme. This meant that, when I began work, I felt I knew what I was doing, or at least whom to ask! In addition, as a Thomson Snell & Passmore trainee, you will do your compulsory Professional Skills Courses with trainees from a group of similar firms based across the south. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with your peers and it ensures a high standard of training.
From the very beginning of my training I felt useful and valued. At Thomson Snell & Passmore the quality of the work you will do is high but the size of the teams means that trainees commonly do junior solicitor level work, under supervision. I was encouraged to take ownership of files and given the opportunity to work with a high degree of independence. Many of my friends at other firms spent their training contracts bundling, filing and photocopying. During my first seat alone I made two applications in court! However, I have always been able to call on advice and support. Partners with very busy workloads will make time to answer your questions and give feedback on your work. I have also been strongly encouraged to develop other essential skills, such as networking and marketing, through practical experience. I now help with the Thomson Snell & Passmore twitter feed and regularly attend local business events on behalf of the Firm. The training contract at Thomson Snell & Passmore provides a high quality of work, individual responsibility, training and support. I feel that working here has meant a much better balance than that experienced by my peers at other firms.
There is also a strong social side to the training experience at Thomson Snell & Passmore. There is always something going on and everyone has the opportunity to get involved with sport, fundraising and simply socialising. Thomson Snell & Passmore holds two staff parties a year as well as the ever popular Christmas Carol service and numerous other events. Members of staff at all levels are included and valued. Because of the Firm’s size you will get to know everyone very quickly and these events take on a family feel.