Case closed

As I approach the last few months of my training contract, now seems like a good time to reflect on my (almost) two years with B P Collins LLP and the various training seats I have undertaken. Although it may be a bit of cliché to say so, the training contract really does fly by, and I still can’t quite believe it’s almost at an end.

Close-up on discussion.

Having worked as a paralegal in a few areas of law prior to my training contract, I began with the attitude that I would try not make any absolute decisions about qualification until I had experienced the majority of my training seats. This may sound fairly obvious to some, but the reality I found was that many trainees already have a specialism in mind at the outset of their training.

“B P Collins has been a fantastic place to train enabling me to gain a true experience of a variety of practice areas.”

Most trainees will acknowledge that law school and even paralegal work do not always give an accurate representation of what post-qualification life in any given area of law entails. B P Collins has been a fantastic place to train, enabling me to gain a true experience of a variety of practice areas. Our HR team takes a personal interest and are very accommodating when it comes to allocating seats, and trainees can usually expect to experience the majority of their chosen seats. In addition, the actual work undertaken in each seat gives a great insight into qualified life, as – generally speaking – trainees at B P Collins are fortunate in getting very hands-on experience, with excellent levels of responsibility and client contact, as well as getting the chance to get stuck into genuinely interesting and challenging work every day.

“Of course no practice area is solitary and there is often crossover with other groups.”

As a lifecycle firm, the range of seats offered also means you have the opportunity to experience a variety of practice areas. Whilst some of my fellow trainees have enjoyed the fast pace and unpredictability of contentious seats, others felt equally at home being able to fully explore and interpret the often complex technical nuances in non-contentious seats. Others still have found they enjoy both types of work, as a result seats which incorporate both elements have been a better fit. Of course no practice area is solitary and there is often crossover with other groups.

The ability to effectively plan ahead is undoubtedly one of the key skills any lawyer must possess, however adaptability to the unexpected is equally essential. When choosing training contract seats and a potential specialism, it is important to strike a balance between these qualities. Rigid adherence to a predetermined plan for your training contract can mean depriving yourself of working in areas you may have been passionate about, whilst too much of an open mind and a lack of forward planning could lead you to not getting what you wanted from your training contract.

It can certainly be a fine balance to strike, however it is one that you will undoubtedly thank yourself for being mindful of in the long run.

Posted by Michael FinneganMichael-Finnegan-thumb
Michael commenced his training contract with B P Collins LLP in September 2016.
Prior to joining B P Collins, Michael worked as a professional negligence and banking dispute resolution paralegal for a large South-West firm.