I started as a trainee at TWM in August 2014 having graduated from the University of Law in Guildford, where I studied the GDL and LPC after completing my Psychology and Criminology degree at the University of Southampton.
My first seat is in Commercial Property, in Epsom. This has been a really good area to start, as the work is so varied, and all members of the team in Epsom have been incredibly supportive. I am working on Sale and Purchases, Landlord and Tenant matters and Development plans for high value transactions. This gives me a well rounded view of the different processes within commercial property, so even if I pick up a transaction mid way through, I have an understanding of what has already happened.
As well as the variety within commercial property, I have also been doing some residential property work, and even some dispute resolution. This has been useful for seeing how the different practice areas can overlap, for example commercial clients might ask the commercial property team to do their residential conveyancing as there is already a working relationship there. The dispute resolution team might ask the commercial property team for their input on land disputes, so this has given me the opportunity to see what I am doing in a wider context.
Networking is an important part of being a trainee solicitor at TWM. There has been a lot of support around this, and we were introduced to some smaller networking events first, as it can be quite daunting initially. As well as the more general events, there are also events aimed specifically at young professionals, which has been a great, informal way of getting to know others in the area.
TWM place a real emphasis on making sure everyone feels part of the firm. Before I started in August, I was invited to the summer barbecue in June so that I could meet everyone in a more informal environment before I started my training contract. In my first week, the firm did an ‘adventure relay’ between all the offices, in aid of Surrey Air Ambulance. Some of us from the Epsom office did the leg from Epsom to Guildford – a 16 mile walk! It was a great opportunity to get to know the people in my office so early on. There is also a quiz coming up, which the whole firm is encouraged to get involved with, as well as a commercial property boat trip on the river Wey!
I am looking forward to finding out what my next seat is, and I feel like I will have a good grounding from what I have learned in Commercial Property.