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What Is the Trainee Solicitor?

The profession of the Trainee Solicitor does not exist in every country. Only in the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland, and other countries with English common law jurisdictions, people can undergo this training. The aim of professional training at a law firm that Trainee Solicitors receive is to qualify as a Solicitor after two years which this training takes.  The important condition on which applicants are accepted for the training program is an undergraduate degree in law. In some cases, when they do not hold a law degree, applicants with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline may be allowed to take either the Common Professional Examination or Graduate Diploma in Law and do the Legal Practice Course before they complete the Solicitor training program.  While on the training course, future solicitors should gain practical experience in at least three areas of law. After they have successfully completed the training contract, Trainee Solicitors will be able to work as solicitors.  


What Are the Tasks of the Trainee Solicitor?

People who sign a training contract fulfil a wide range of duties. What responsibilities Trainee Solicitors take up largely depends on what practice group they join and what kind of matters they work on in this group. The most common tasks that the Trainee Solicitor fulfils are presented in the list below:

Legal Research – The Trainee Solicitor needs to conduct research when there is a problem in a transaction. The problem may emanate from a client’s query or technicality in the transaction. The research that Trainee Solicitors pursue involves but is not limited to reading case law, statue, European law, guidelines, and technical notes. Conducting such research is of paramount importance, since on its results depends how successfully the whole team with which the Trainee Solicitor works solves the problem under discussion. Time given for the research varies contingent on the complexity of the issue.   

Drafting Submissions – The Trainee Solicitor is often entitled to write a draft of the court submission or, at least, of its parts. This is not an easy feat, because the court submission should be written in a particular, legal style, be rhetorically shaped to persuade the audience, and include references to and citations of legal arguments. To compose meaningful, effective legal documents, Trainee Solicitors should also go to the very heart of the matter of the case under discussion and be thoroughly familiar with all its facts and details.  

Preparing Trial Bundles – This task involves negotiation of the contents of the bundle with the other side involved in the case on which lawyers helped by Trainee Solicitor are presently working. The main task in preparing trial bundles is to ensure that all parties have the most updated information about the case. Excellent organizational and communication skills are a must for the successful fulfillment of this task.

Corporate Structure Chart – Another responsibility of the Trainee Solicitor is to compose a detailed chart that shows various jurisdictions, subsidiaries, and holdings involved in a deal. To do this, the Trainee Solicitor has to read thoroughly annual returns and press releases, conduct commercial research, and pay the closest attention to the smallest details.

Making Presentations - Trainee Solicitor is also expected to give short presentations about new legal developments. These presentations can be delivered either weekly or once a month during the company’s meetings.

Checking Non-Confidential Version of Documents – One of the duties of the Trainee Solicitor is checking whether prepared documents contain confidential, classified, or commercially sensitive information before they are sent off to the parties involved in the case. It is important that neither party receives confidential information about each other. This task requires a minute attention to details. The Trainee Solicitor should locate all classified information and then eliminate it from documents before they are distributed between the parties.

Other responsibilities of the Trainee Solicitor include anticipating and responding to clients’ needs and requests. They also need to contribute to the growth of the Law firm where they are trained. They are also expected to be keenly aware of their firm’s marketing strategies and represent it faithfully and correctly when called to do this.


What Traits and Skills Should the Trainee Solicitor Possess?

In addition to a degree in law, Trainee Solicitors should manifest certain personal qualities to be successful in their calling. Among these are the following traits and qualities:

  • Analytical Thinking – What is important in the work of lawyers and solicitors is the ability to deconstruct a problem, to break it into smaller parts. To do this, Trainee Solicitors should be able to scrutinize the problem and immediately see which part in it is of paramount significance and which is of secondary importance.
  • Excellent Communication Skills – Lawyers deal with people. The practice of commercial or any other law is directed towards people. Being a good communicator is, therefore, a must for a successful solicitor or a trainee. Lawyers should know how to express their thoughts and ideas both verbally and in writing effectively and clearly so that people not trained in law could easily understand them. Good communication skills also help form a firm bond with clients and inspire trust in them.
  • Commercial Acumen – In addition to the deep knowledge of law, Trainee Solicitors are expected to have commercial astuteness. The ability to make quick, correct judgement and decisions is especially valuable, when the Trainee Solicitor specializes in the commercial law. Hence, it is crucial for them to know how to apply the law correctly to the industry or business in which a client operates.
  • Strong Motivation – Any role in the Law Industry can be challenging and stressful. The environment in which Trainee Solicitors work is highly demanding and places on them excessive demands. Without a strong motivation to succeed and without a passionate approach to one’s job, it is difficult to withstand difficulties and bear the stress entailed in the role of the Trainee Solicitor.
  • Networking – Lawyers help other people and need new clients to prosper in their business. During their training contract, Trainee Solicitors, therefore, go to various networking events and industry forums where they have an opportunity to develop the ability to make valuable contacts or simply strike a meaningful conversation with strangers in hope that they may lead to befriending interesting people.
  • Technological Understanding – The Trainee Solicitor should also be tech-savvy and use IT systems extensively in the management of cases. Using IT systems will significantly improve the effectiveness of services provided to clients.
  • Adhering to Professional Standards – The Trainee Solicitor is expected to behave in a professional manner and maintaining professional high standards. Trainee Solicitors should also comply with procedures adumbrated in the firm’s manual and requirements set out by the Legal Service Commission. They also should follow instructions given by senior lawyers. What is also important is to keep all information about the firm in which they are trained confidential.

How Much Does the Trainee Solicitor Annually Earn in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, the average base salary of the Trainee Solicitor is £41,751 per year. Some law firms are willing to pay up to £50,000 annually.

Explore Leading Law Firms

Follow the links in the table below to learn more about the application and selection process of the known law firms that offer trainee contracts.

Allen & Overy Baker & McKenzie Berwin Leighton Paisner Burges Salmon
Clifford Chance Dentons DLA Piper Eversheds
Freshfields Herbert Smith Freehills Hill Dickinson Hogan Lovells
Ince co Irwin Mitchell Linklaters Mayer Brown
RPC Simmons & Simmons XXIV Old Buildings  

How Can JobTestPrep Help You?

JobTestPrep makes an all-out effort to help applicants to become accepted as a Trainee Solicitor in any Law company of their choice. To this end, we not only provide information about the responsibilities that this position involves but have also compiled a sophisticated PrepPack™. In it, we have brought together the accurate simulations of the Numerical, Verbal, and Abstract Reasoning Tests that will hone those of your skills and qualities that are necessary for the success in the role of the Trainee Solicitor.

Driven by the desire to help you develop also personality traits required for working in the Law Industry, we have also put into our PrepPack™ the high-quality Personality Assessment. Going through it, you will understand what personality traits your prospective employees will want to see in their Trainee Solicitors. Knowing that employers construct their impression about their potential Trainee Solicitors also during the phone and face-to-face interview, we have added to our resources the interview material. They include winning answers to the most frequently asked interview questions and tips on how to conduct yourself professionally in your conversation with your would-be managers. Purchase our resources and embark on the interesting trainee contract of the solicitor.  

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