A day in the life of a Trainee Solicitor
DAY IN THE LIFE OF A TRAINEE SOLICITOR
I am a trainee solicitor in Woollcombe Yonge’s Crime Department. The nature of criminal practice means that every day is different, and you can never predict what new matters can arise on any given day. Due to this, I rarely have a standard routine each day but there are many exciting aspects to my job that I deal with regularly.
My role as a trainee solicitor includes assisting solicitors with preparation for court hearings in the Magistrates and Crown Courts. I also get the chance to observe the advocacy of our solicitors, or barristers if we have instructed them on a particular case. Alongside reviewing case papers, a large part of the court preparation process involves taking instructions from our clients, either relating to their defence or any mitigation.
Our firm will also regularly instruct barristers to act as the advocate in Crown Court cases. My role therefore also entails drafting a brief to counsel about a case which will then be received and reviewed by the client’s barrister.
POLICE STATION MATTERS
I am currently undertaking the Police Station Accreditation, and I am now at a stage where I can represent clients in interview. I will attend the police station, receive disclosure about the allegations from the police and then meet with the client in private consultation to take their instructions and advise them of whether to answer the police’s questions, answer no comment or draft a prepared statement. I will then proceed to interview with the officers and the client.
We have several clients that have been bailed for alleged offences. Therefore, regular communication with the police to continually updating the client through phone calls or letters is vital.
MEETING WITH CLIENTS
Taking instructions from clients is a very important element of my job role. Alongside taking instructions prior to court hearings, we also meet with clients at our office or, if they have been remanded for an offence, meet with them in prison.
Whilst I rarely spend my entire 9 – 5 in the office due to the regular and exciting outings, there are also a lot of administrative duties involved with my role. These can include:
Liaising with court staff in relation to any outstanding hearings.
Organising prison visits with prison staff.
General maintenance of client files.
Regular communication with police officers in relation to outstanding police station matters, which can include making representations on behalf of clients.
Regular communication with clients via both telephone and email to ensure they are always updated on their case.
I am incredibly lucky to have a job I love in an area of law that I have always been passionate about. I’m also very lucky to be working for a firm as brilliant as Woollcombe Yonge!
"As a family we found the service provided to us was delivered with ’empathy’ and was in fact ‘outstanding’, we would most certainly recommend Woollcombe Yonge to friends.”