Guest blog by Nitika Patel, Trainee Solicitor at CMS:

I thoroughly enjoyed my law degree at LSE and I believe it gave me a strong foundation on the subject. Being surrounded by driven and motivated students, I found myself applying for insight days from my very first year. This proved invaluable as I gained exposure to different law firms, their clients and the type of work commercial solicitors do.

Following a CMSvacation scheme in my final year at university, I was offered a Training Contract starting in 2016. Looking back on my first few months as a trainee solicitor, here are a few tips I have:

  1. Work hard. This will involve taking initiative and doing every piece of work to the best of your ability, no matter how small the task. Not only will you gain a lot more out of the work that you do but those around you will really appreciate the effort you put in and be willing to answer any questions you have around the topic.
  2. Be enthusiastic and ask questions. Your Training Contract is for you to really develop your skills and your knowledge about particular departments and sectors. so don’t be afraid to ask questions (no matter how silly those questions may seem to you). Asking questions will be the best way to learn and grasp procedures. It will also help you develop relationships with members of your team.
  3. Be proactive. It can sometimes be hard as a trainee to know how to demonstrate your ability to be proactive and use your initiative as it is the very start of your legal career. However, it is something that you should try to think about, as it shows your ability to look at the bigger picture and understand the transaction as a whole.
  4. Try and get involved with different activities within the firm. From the outset try to get involved with CSR activities, departmental events, graduate recruitment events etc. Not only do these activities help build confidence and develop numerous transferable skills but they’re a great way to network with individuals across the firm.

CMS and other law firms will be attending the Law Careers Fair next week on Tuesday 24 October and Thursday 26 October. Book now on CareerHub to avoid disappointment.

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