Adapting to starting a new job in the midst of a global pandemic requires positivity and a good ergonomic chair. I had the former, but not the latter.
My first seat is in the insolvency team, an arm of the litigation department, and I met my new colleagues via a scheduled MS Teams call on Monday morning: an app which I have come to realise is the backbone of virtual communication here at Russell-Cooke. It was strange to meet them as a series of floating heads, but they managed to make me feel right at home (pun not intended). I was delighted to find that I would be involved in more than just mere administrative tasks; I was quickly brought in on a bankruptcy case and asked to write a brief to counsel in anticipation of a virtual hearing to be held the following week. I was asked to get up to speed with a range of cases whilst becoming very familiar with insolvency webinars and, of course, practical law notes.
With an undergraduate degree in English Literature, I'm no stranger to narratives of deceit and tales of loss. However, I didn't imagine that I'd be exploring them in the context of bankruptcy and part 36 offers. Yet, I have found that the cases are complex, encapsulating issues from company law, to fraud, to property disputes. Understanding these legal issues is a thought-provoking challenge. Alongside drafting formal court documents, I have been tasked with chasing up creditors and investigating the whereabouts of defendants to serve claims. Such matters provide a useful initial reflection of the varied work that the team undertakes.
Meanwhile, my bedroom slowly but surely has taken on office-like qualities. I have begun feverishly plastering my windows with assorted sticky notes detailing anything from matter numbers to passwords to the statutory order of creditors in a liquidation (facts which I did not anticipate becoming wall art: pandemic or no pandemic). With a daily walk, more snacks than I can attempt to justify, and the hope that we will be returning to the office in the not-so-distant future, it feels like a promising start to my training contract.
It's easy to let a new trainee fall by the wayside when working remotely, particularly without their physical presence to prompt a quick check-in, or ask for their assistance with a matter. Because of this, it's wonderful to end a fortnight at the firm already feeling like a member of the team, being brought in on substantial work and welcomed with warmth.
Now I'm off to join a virtual social with the other trainees – the pandemic fun continues!
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