Applications have just opened for our 2023 vacation schemes and 2025 training contracts, so on that basis, we thought it would be helpful to share a typical day in the life of a trainee solicitor at Stevens & Bolton and give some top application tips.
I am currently a third-seat trainee, sitting in the commercial and technology team.
This particular day starts in our temporary office. Our main office at Wey House is currently under renovations, so we’re using another building for the moment. The plans look amazing, so we’re all really excited to get back. In the meantime, I am currently splitting my time between working from home and being in the current Guildford office for team days and when I need a change of scene. Whilst I generally prefer working in the office, the flexibility of home working has been fantastic.
After saying hi to my colleagues and a couple of other trainees who have come in, I grab a coffee, check my emails, and review my to-do list. Today, I have a client call first thing to discuss an agreement they want us to draft, I’m reviewing a data protection agreement and I need to have a call with my supervisor to discuss some terms and conditions we are drafting.
One of the major attractions of working at Stevens & Bolton is the amount of client contact we have as trainees. I’m often the main point of contact for minor queries a client may have, and the team has also been great at introducing me to clients and ensuring that I am involved in any work from the outset, so that I can understand the bigger picture of what is going on. In any call, I make sure to introduce myself and take a thorough note, as well as ensuring I listen carefully in case any questions come up where I can find a quick answer.
After finishing the call, the partner I am working with gives me a call to discuss anything that was unclear and briefs me on next steps. Then I get down to work for the morning.
At midday, we have a whole team meeting, where everyone runs through their current capacity and workload. This is helpful for ensuring that work is evenly distributed and keeping everyone up to date on what is going on.
Lunch is at a local café with a couple of the other trainees from my intake. We have a good chat about what we’re all working on and talk about the upcoming firm Christmas party. There are a total of 11 trainees at the moment, which creates a really nice support network.
In the afternoon, I get my head down and crack on with a data protection agreement. It was a little more technical than some of the other work I have done, so I didn’t get time to get started on the terms and conditions, although I did have a useful chat with my supervisor where he ran through the brief and gave me a good idea on how to get started on it tomorrow.
At about 6pm, I head out for the evening. I’ve joined the firm’s netball team and we have training tonight!
My main advice for anyone applying for training contracts or vacation schemes this year would be to really research the firms you’re applying to and make sure the culture is the best fit for you. Tailor each of your applications so that they are firm-specific and make it clear that you are enthusiastic to work for that firm. Stevens & Bolton emphasises finding people committed to the firm's values and who want to become part of the wider family.
And if you can't get a good sense of the culture from the firm's website, reach out to current trainees or anyone who works at the firm. People are always happy to chat!