First-seat trainee Mitch Parry reflects on his first months at Russell-Cooke.
After over two years of waiting to start my training contract with Russell-Cooke it would be stretching the truth to say that I haven’t considered every permutation of how the first month of it could turn out.
Whether it be nervously contacting clients, failing to meet a deadline, or more generally struggling to adapt to my first office job. Luckily however, all of the anxiety seems to have been in vain.
My time in the restructuring and insolvency team has, as expected, been quite challenging. Not only because my one week of studies on insolvency and bankruptcy during the LPC was only the tip of the iceberg (surprising I know), but also due to a lot of my time so far being spent figuring out how to send emails, bill clients and avoid drawing the attention of the firm’s senior partner, whose office I happen to sit five metres away from!
Once I finally turn my attention to working on legal matters though, the tasks are intellectually stimulating, always interesting and provide platforms for me to consistently learn and develop.
Highlights so far include attending a conference with Counsel, drafting a variety of documents, and my personal favourite, attending an in-person hearing for an interim application.
Besides the vast improvement in my insolvency and bankruptcy knowledge, my practical skills have likewise received some fine tuning. I receive daily tasks from all members of my team which requires me to multitask and effectively manage my time.
I have learnt how to effectively communicate with members of my department, the firm and clients, tailoring my tone and language depending on the target audience.
While these experiences and skills mentioned above are crucial in my path to becoming a solicitor, it could be argued that the most valuable part of my seat so far has been networking with other legal and insolvency professionals, which I quickly found out, is a frequent occurrence at weekly social events.
And before you ask, yes, they do all involve drinking a wide variety of beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages, whatever takes your fancy!
Everyone in my department is incredibly supportive and they welcome all the questions I have, even if they are IT related! They provide me with the autonomy to tackle complex legal issues and manage my own matters, while simultaneously providing reassurance that I will not get everything correct first time and that their feedback will help me advance.
I'd also like to shout out to my supervisor who has provided a setting where I feel comfortable to discuss any struggles that I may be having whenever they arise, even if they aren’t necessarily work related.
On a wider level, visits to the firm’s offices, weekly social clubs, and events such as welcome drinks for new starters have provided ample opportunities to develop connections with people from all areas of the firm.
This has made entering my role as a trainee feel like a natural transition and I know that I can comfortably speak to anyone without feeling like an imposter due to my limited (but constantly increasing) legal experience.
Nevertheless, while everyone I have crossed paths with has been friendly and approachable, I do need to get out of the habit of bumping into the firm’s deputy senior partner, which has happened a few times too many so far!