Trainee Blog: How can I focus on Sustainability in my Training Contract?

A lot of work goes into obtaining a training contract offer – all the research, applications, the interviews and so on. But what happens when you are successful, and you are ready to start your first seat? How do you go about deciding which seat you want to do? The SRA requires seats to include both contentious and non-contentious work, but it can still be hard to know which seats are best suited to you. At Michelmores, trainees are involved in the seat allocation process and encouraged to choose seats that cater to our interests but have lots of support to help us find the right ones for us.

Sustainability is something that many people, including myself, are really interested in, and I wanted to make sure I was having a positive impact in all my seats and that they incorporated sustainability in some way.

How could sustainability fit into my training contract seats?

You can be involved with sustainability both from the perspective of a firm's internal ESG credentials, and we as the work it does with clients. This could involve anything from a CSR day to choosing seats which focus on the Sustainable Economy, such as Corporate, Agricultural, Commercial and Real Estate – which are just some of the seats that carry out work involved in the sustainability realm. 

What sort of work could I be involved in?

Many clients who work within sustainable infrastructure require work carried out by the Corporate, Commercial, Planning, Construction and Real Estate teams. As an example, the energy sector includes sustainable energy options to work with renewables such as solar PV, wind, hydro and anaerobic digestion as well as other sustainable energy solutions including energy from waste, and EV.

Our impact investing specialists in Corporate focus on investing capital in both the UK and internationally whilst addressing social and/or environmental issues and in turn create and grow sustainable businesses that bring value to investors.

Sustainable agriculture stems from Michelmores' already leading agriculture team and the focus can include food production and distribution, animal feed and agrochemicals.

The variety of sustainability work you can be involved in is not limited to one team so you really can tailor your training contract to have a sustainability focus.

What sort of responsibility can I expect?

From early on in our training contracts, Trainees are exposed to high quality work as evidenced by some of the examples above. We are also given responsibility to assist on complex matters whilst being provided with the ongoing support that we need. This experience has been shared by other Trainees in the above seats and I am confident going into my next seat in Real Estate of the different opportunities available to me.

What are the benefits of aligning my interests with a training contract seat?

It might sound obvious, but by having an interest in a specific area of a seat, you are more likely to develop further as you will naturally be interested in the work that lawyers in your team undertake. Ultimately, this will maximise your training contract experience and prepare you further for that Newly Qualified role. This will in turn, will place you in a much better position to advise clients as they expect their trusted advisors to align with their values and fully immerse themselves in a model that underlies their business. You will also be able to see which area of sustainability you are interested in as there are many different options to choose from.

For more information relating to Michelmores' training contract offerings please visit here.