Embracing change in a training contract

29 October, 2020

While this year has involved more change than most, the ability to embrace change and to be flexible is a skill that trainees have always required during their training contract.

At Cripps Pemberton Greenish, trainees undertake four seats which last six months each. My first seat was in the Private Wealth team in Chelsea and I am now halfway through my second seat with the Commercial Property team in Tunbridge Wells. Moving seats brought with it a lot of change: there was a whole department of new faces and names to get to know, a new office, a different area of law, and the clients were professionals and agents as opposed to private individuals which meant I had to adapt my communication style.

This change can be daunting, especially the first time. When you first begin your training contract it can take a couple of months to feel familiar with your department and to understand what is required of you. Changing seats can feel like starting all over again, so embracing this change is a skill that every trainee needs and being prepared, as much as possible, can make this transition easier.

Before moving seats, it is helpful to read any LPC notes and legal updates which are relevant to the area of law you will be working in. While trainees are not expected to know everything, refreshing your memory of the important points means that you will have a basic understanding when you get given your first task. 

It can also be helpful to introduce yourself to your supervisor before starting your seat. While they are busy people, an initial email or conversation will make it feel more familiar from the first day and gives you the opportunity to ask how to best prepare for the work.

Change also brings with it a lot of opportunities so it is important to be open to these. Working in different departments allows you to learn from new people and exposes you to different working styles. Changing seats is part of what makes a training contract great. Gaining such a variety of experiences allows you to broaden your understanding of law and ultimately allows you to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing where to qualify.