28 June 2022

A day in the life of a Trainee at LSA

In 3 months’ time, I will be a second-year trainee. Sometimes, I need to stop and process that because it seems like only yesterday that I was applying for an ‘access to law course’. It’s safe to say that my experience as a Trainee has progressed vastly since my first article at the start of my journey. The main difference between now and then is my client interaction. My team have been very encouraging when it has come to face-to-face and over-the-phone consultations with clients. I’ve been to the state hospital and medium secure hospitals to visit clients; had court exposure and of course, lived and breathed my CPD. However, let’s be honest here, that is what you expect from a traineeship. My traineeship has checked all the boxes, as it should.

So, what makes LSA different?

Let’s talk about the things that are not on the Law Society of Scotland’s guidance. LSA integrates their trainees into the firm by including them in their overall objectives. A perfect example of this would be that I joined the seminar committee early, on the recommendation of my boss. I honestly did not expect to be involved, I thought I would sit there, nod and agree. I can categorically confirm that my expectation was far from reality and I’m grateful for it. I have had the opportunity to plan what seminars I would want to attend and get in contact with experts in their field and solicitors that I admire. I have made contacts that a regular Trainee would not because I am interacting with them through a different set of circumstances. I won’t lie, when we talk financials, then I sit, nod and agree; some things are completely over my head.

I was recently approached by the Diploma team at the University of Glasgow, to talk about my experiences as a student and my unconventional pathway into the profession. LSA supported this by not only allowing me the day from work to attend the conference but also promoting it on their social media pages. Not many first-year trainees are given the opportunity to co-author an article with a partner of their firm, yet here I am with not only that but have been able to write articles about the mental health work that my department does daily. I want to make something clear; I am not special. I am not gifted or incredibly smart. I’m an average trainee who has been presented with fantastic opportunities to diversify my knowledge and skills and I have taken them with both hands. The opportunities are there for all the trainees to take advantage of, we are in no way obligated to get involved, but if we want to we can.

LSA has also surpassed my expectations of development, diversity and inclusion. They have provided training sessions from Diversity Scotland to all staff including the admin and support teams. This opened my eyes as to what I can do, in the profession, to help promote diversity and inclusion. They have provided training from DeafBlind Scotland, which taught staff the manual DeafBlind Alphabet and gave guidance on how to communicate with clients with impairments. Since then, I have been practicing the alphabet daily and have even signed up to learn British Sign Language. LSA does more than the standard training, as a trainee there, I am lucky to have the opportunities that they provide because they are making me a better person, not just a better solicitor.

Mera Devi
Trainee Solicitor
Mental Health Team

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