Trainee Blog: A week in the life of an Employment Trainee
As my colleague Alex Ricketts recently described in his Trainee Blog (which you can read here), life as a Trainee gives you exposure to working with a range of people on a varied workload. I'm now in my third seat of my training contract and am sitting in the Employment Team. In Employment, we have a mix of non-contentious and contentious work, which means every week brings a new and exciting challenge!
Keep reading to learn more about a recent week I've had during my time in the Employment seat.
As part of Michelmores' Agile Working policy, teams can pick an 'anchor day' for staff to come into the office on the same day. Monday is the Employment Team's anchor day. I start my day by catching up with my team before joining a call with a Solicitor and a Senior Associate, to discuss the progress of an Employment Tribunal claim.
We then have our weekly team meeting, where we discuss our new work, capacity, share business development updates and any other business. This meeting also incorporated our Elevate (i.e., knowledge sharing) team training session. I take notes as our Team Leader runs us through a jurisdictional point from a recent Preliminary Hearing in the Employment Tribunal, and another Partner discusses the difference between Without Prejudice conversations and pre-termination negotiations.
I then present my training session with my fellow Employment Trainee, on the topic of 'advice to employers when an employee is accused of criminal conduct'. This sparks a thought-provoking conversation between the Team, where we discuss how we have handled recent examples of work for our various clients in the public and private sectors and discuss other hypothetical scenarios.
I finish off the day by having my weekly catch-up with my team supervisor, Bethan Jones, Partner in the Team. Bethan and I then join a call with the Citizens Advice Bureau to discuss delivering some pro-bono legal clinic sessions.
On Tuesday, I attend my first ever Final Hearing in the Exeter Employment Tribunal. I meet with my colleagues and Counsel to discuss the preliminary issues and the progress of the Hearing so far before the Hearing begins.
I attend on the second day of the Hearing, when the witnesses for our client are giving their witness statements. I take note of the Hearing to accurately record the witness evidence being delivered to the Tribunal. During the breaks, my colleagues and I return to our private room with our client to provide support and guidance as to the Hearing.
After the Hearing, we discuss the next day's events with our clients and say our goodbyes. My colleagues and I then grab a coffee before I hop on the train to London.
Trainees need to complete the Professional Skills Course as part of their training requirements. On Wednesday, I travelled to the University of Law campus in London Moorgate to complete one of my elective modules, 'Employment Disputes in the Workplace'. I attend this elective with my fellow Employment Trainee, so we meet up before the class begins to have breakfast near campus.
After studying my LPC virtually through Covid, I thoroughly enjoyed the classroom environment which complimented my Employment Seat experiences with the PSC course information.
After the course ends, I nip to Covent Garden with my fellow Trainee. We catch up and have some food, before travelling home.
On Thursday, I have various emails to catch up with after my two days out of office.
The first thing in the diary is to attend a client meeting with my supervisor to discuss a potential redundancy situation with one of our public sector clients. I take note of the meeting and send this across to my supervisor.
I am then asked to draft a settlement agreement for another Partner in the Team, which she reviews and we then send it across for the Claimant to consider.
My scheduled tasks for the day are bumped when the Team Leader calls me to ask me to do an urgent research task. One of our large retail clients has raised an unusual enquiry relating to some other substantial reason (SOSR) dismissal, so I review recent Employment Tribunal judgments relating to this enquiry to get a sense of the Tribunal's treatment of these circumstances. Employment can be fast-paced and clients often need an answer quickly, meaning your days are sometimes very unpredictable!
I then receive disclosure documents from another client who is preparing for a Preliminary Hearing. I work on reviewing the documents for relevance and compiling a bundle for the client to review.
Finally, the Business Department gets festive and heads to our department's Christmas Party. Time to toast another great week in the Employment Seat and my second Christmas as a Michelmores Trainee!
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