What is it like to be a newly qualified solicitor? Here is an insight of what it is like for Ramona.
Updated: Jul 19, 2022
Hi, it’s Ramona here from FG Solicitors.
I started with the firm in May 2018 as a member of the Business Support Team. After 8 months, I transferred into the Legal Team as a Legal Assistant, providing support to the firm’s solicitors. By August 2019, I had started my training contract and qualified as a solicitor in February 2021.
The day in the life of a newly qualified solicitor is ever changing, take a look at a day from last week…
6:30am My day starts off with a bit of yoga and a fresh coffee in the garden. After catching up with the news, I get ready and head into work. 8:30am By the time I reach the office, I am ready to attack the day. It starts off with checking my emails, calendar and the daily tasks list to forecast what my day will look like. However, a day in the life of a lawyer does not always stick to the plan as clients may call with an urgent piece of work that needs to be turned around on the same day. Prioritisation and flexibility are key.
9:00am It’s time for the legal team meeting. An opportunity for my colleagues and I to discuss ongoing work, bounce ideas and strategies across to one another and set out our priorities and goals for the day. Part of FGS’ values is to create a collegiate culture where team members can support and learn from one another in an open space. The morning meeting is the perfect example of the team coming together and practicing this value.
9.30am One of our UK based retainer clients is expanding into Ireland and requires an Irish consultancy agreement for a number of independent contractors. I spend the next hour and a half preparing the first draft of the precedent to ensure it is compliant and tailored to meet our client’s needs. I liaise with Helen Taylor, a Principal and senior employment lawyer, who has had previous experience working with a number of Irish based companies discussing the general principles and laws surrounding employment status in Ireland.
11.00am Floyd Graham, the Managing Principal and I attend our recurring weekly meeting with our client. Acting as General Legal Counsel for our international client, this meeting is an integral part of its 14-year relationship with the client. The meeting is an opportunity for our client to seek advice on any legal matters and updates on current projects.
12:00pm I attend a mediation meeting on behalf of our client who is currently dealing with a contract dispute. During the mediation, we set out our client’s legal position and undertake negotiations with a view to settling. Having worked on the case from the beginning and being heavily involved in preparing the statements of case, I am responsible for taking notes and assisting Floyd during the advocacy with identifying relevant documents and legislation. The mediation is successful and the matter has settled. I will draft the consent order and issue it to the other side tomorrow.
13:00pm It’s lunch time. I take out my packed lunch and sit around the table with my colleagues either chatting away or watching an episode of The Office. We have always been encouraged to take a break and switch off at lunch so it’s a great time to just sit back and relax and get involved with the lunchtime discussions.
14:00pm Floyd and I attend a client site for a strategic planning session and to get a deeper understanding of the operations of the company. Our client is contemplating a management restructure and wishes to also utilise our services for an audit of its existing HR and contractual documentation. As part of our audit framework, we will attend client sites for the purposes of undertaking individual consultations, training sessions and planning with the senior management team.
16:00pm Our client requires a master service agreement for a tender they have recently won. I review the existing documentation between our client and the customer. With the assistance of Pippa, our trainee solicitor, we begin drafting the schedules to the agreement dealing with our client’s services, KPIs, service levels and service credits, charges & data protection.
17:00pm I attend a Teams call with one of our client’s other professional services providers in New York to deal with an employment matter relating to a separation and release of claims agreement I had drafted the day before.
18:00pm My day is complete, and I attend to any outstanding admin tasks which I had not completed during the day, this will include time recording, file referrals, archiving and updating the daily tasks list. As I have completed the targets I set out for myself for the day and there is no additional incoming work, I gather my stuff and head home. I usually spend my evenings with my family or partner and take the dogs for an evening walk.