Russell-Cooke trainee reflects on training contract

Rebecca Fisher, Partner in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, private client team.
Rebecca Fisher
2 min Read

Reflecting on the overall experience with Russell-Cooke, final seat trainee currently resides in the property and housing litigation team.

As I approach the end of my training contract, I am looking back over the past two years and realising how much has changed.

In January 2021, I started at my parents’ house in the middle of lockdown, not able to go into the office, meet my team or socialise with anyone (except my parent’s dog).

Now, I am coming into the office most days, attending firm parties and I am actually too busy to see the dog. I thought it would be interesting to share a few thoughts about my training contact now that it is almost over.

The work

I applied to Russell-Cooke because of the range of seats on offer, and it has lived up to expectations. The fact that we can experience departments such as crime or children & education, both of which undertake publicly funded work followed by a seat in corporate and commercial, is unique. It makes daily lunches with my fellow trainees especially interesting, when one trainee is defending a criminal client in a burglary case, and another is working on a multi-million-pound purchase for a commercial real estate client, the conversation never gets boring.

I have completed seats in real estate, employment, professional regulation and property litigation, and they have all been really different. This means that moving seats can feel like a really big change; every team has its own systems and as a trainee you need to learn to adapt to these quite quickly.

The biggest change was moving from real estate to employment, since the former is a transactional seat, and the latter is litigious. I had also spent most of my real estate seat working from home and my employment seat was very office based.

A few highlights from my four seats include spending seven days at the Royal Courts of Justice at a protection from harassment trial; attending the Employment Appeals Tribunal at a pregnancy discrimination appeal claim; assisting with defending a protected belief discrimination claim, working on a licence to alter for a well-known restaurant in London, and challenging a compulsory slaughter notice of farm animals.

Outside the office

As a trainee, I have found the people at Russell-Cooke to be so helpful, patient, and great to work with.

Even in the depths of lockdown, I felt like a valued member of my team. There is always someone to ask for help, and it feels genuinely non-hierarchical - in two of my seats I have shared a room with the partner, which really lends itself to this.

The trainee cohort are really close, we have lunch together most days and socials every few months, something I will miss when I qualify!

Get in touch

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