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A Day in the Life of a New Forest Trainee Solicitor

A typical day in the Company and Commercial Department of Scott Bailey in Lymington

It's not quite like Suits, Legally Blonde or the Lincoln Lawyer

Sandy - Mallador puppy

A Day in the Life of Emily Drew

My name is Emily Drew, Trainee Solicitor at Scott Bailey LLP. I’m currently enjoying my seat in the Company and Commercial department, and I thought it might be nice to give prospective Trainees a bit of an insight into how we work – it’s not quite like Suits, Legally Blonde or the Lincoln Lawyer.

Black labrador RosieBefore you start as a Trainee Solicitor, the main thing you go into the job anticipating is to learn the law. You expect to be observing, reading, and assisting the other solicitors, and carrying out plenty of photocopying and note-taking on the side. At Scott Bailey, there is a lot more to the job than that. Managing files in a compliant way (so much red tape we have to comply with!), drafting documents, emails (so many emails!) billing and invoicing, marketing, or communicating effectively with co-workers and clients alike – definitely not just shadowing and note-taking. It’s a training contract, not work experience, and I’ve already learnt the importance of establishing and maintaining both client relationships and professional ones with local businesses and individuals. This leads me into my first task of the morning… a networking breakfast!

Whilst not all law firms let trainees loose on the world, the Partners at Scott Bailey really encourage me to go out there and meet new people and businesses to create lasting relationships which may be with me throughout my whole career.

A personal favourite networking event of mine is the monthly Lymington and District Chamber of Commerce breakfast event. It is a great way to start the day and I have already made some brilliant connections. 

At the office I then check for any urgent emails which have come in overnight, and catch up with Ben Ironmonger, Partner and Head of the Company and Commercial team, on what needs to get done. I normally then head to the kitchen for the first round of coffee.

Admittedly, making the coffee is not a completely selfless act, it means I get to visit several of the five office dogs on the way! Meet Rosie – Sarah Unsworth’s black Labrador, Evie – Richard Wadsworth’s Spaniel and our newest addition to the office, Sandy – Ben Ironmonger’s Mallador puppy.

Cocker spaniel EvieCoffee run done, it’s time to concentrate again. We are currently acting on a number of business sales and purchases, and two of the crucial parts of a business transaction are the due diligence, and negotiating the sale agreement. Due diligence is essentially a fact-finding exercise carried out by the buyer’s team to investigate the potential risks and rewards of the purchase. My task this particular morning is to go through all of the documents provided to us by our client on a company sale, and to prepare the disclosure bundle for the buyer’s legal team. We actually use an online document sharing platform for speed, rather than traditional mail or emails. I’ll also have the opportunity to review and amend the first draft of the purchase agreement on this matter when it lands from the buyer’s team, and to prepare a draft report. Actually, not many trainees in larger firms get the chance to have such hands-on experience.

Lunchtime! This means a nice walk along the brilliant Lymington High Street with some co-workers to grab something to eat, before heading back to the office to catch up with a few colleagues.

After lunch, I reply to more emails and spend some time organising our networking event for Women in Business which takes place most months around Lymington.

Next, it’s a shareholders’ agreement for a startup company which has instructed us through our business startup webpage. I’ve even had the chance to star in one of our promotional videos: watch it here if you'd like! It’s fair to say I felt awkward at first, but I eventually relaxed into it. Just another Trainee Solicitor task!

A firm that believes in a work life balance

Working on the shareholders’ agreement takes me up to the end of the day, so I make sure my desk is tidy and my to do list is up to date before I pack up. It’s not quite home time for me though, as I head off to football training with my team, Lymington Town Ladies who I have played for since it was founded last season. I’ve heard horror stories of Trainees in London or even regional firms where they are working very late most nights, but I’m happy at a firm that wants me to have a genuine work life balance.

Emily Drew, Trainee Solicitor at Scott Bailey LLP

About Scott Bailey LLP

Founded in 1930, Scott Bailey has grown to become a leading firm in the New Forest, providing a full range of legal services to private individuals and businesses. Services for individuals include Residential Conveyancing, Divorce, Family, Wills Trusts & Probate, Litigation & Disputes.

SME business legal services include Corporate, Commercial, Intellectual Property, Dispute Resolution, Landlord & Tenant, Insolvency and Employment Law. Scott Bailey LLP is one of only a very few firms based in the New Forest providing these specialist services. 

The first firm in the region to receive the Law Society's prestigious LEXCEL award for high standards of practice management and customer care, Scott Bailey LLP promises top-quality, professional help from a team of expert solicitors who will put your best interests at the heart of their work.

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