Day in the Life of a Trainee Solicitor at Hampson Hughes Solicitors
Jonathon Alderton is a Trainee Solicitor at Hampson Hughes Solicitors, having started his training contract at the beginning of September 2012.
7:15am – Despite the atrocious weather conditions I manage to get up as soon as my alarm goes off. Get ready, grab breakfast and start the 20 minute walk from home to the Hampson Hughes offices
8:20am – Arrive to at our head offices on Old Hall Street in Liverpool. My morning routine usually involves a trip to Starbucks en route for a Caramel Macchiato, today being no different.
8:30am – Settle in at my desk. I have recently moved to join the Industrial Disease Department as part of my Training Contact seat rotation. This is an entirely new area of law for me so I am very excited to see different types of challenges it will present in helping me to become a more complete and well-rounded lawyer.
I check my emails and prioritise any urgent responses and tasks. Early morning is usually a good opportunity to respond to client queries and chase up any urgent correspondence from the other side.
9:00am – Working on Industrial Disease and RTA Protocol Trainee Projects. Once all the urgent queries have been dealt with I continue working on a synopsis relating to new Industrial Disease claims. This project has given me an opportunity to carry out extensive legal research and then apply any relevant case law and legislation to the facts of the case. This practical application of the law is one of the key skills a lawyer needs to be able to demonstrate and something that the lawyers at HH do incredibly well. I look forward to perfecting this skill over the course of the next 18 months! Email the completed synopsis to my supervisor and invite constructive feedback.
I apply the finishing touches to work on another project relating to the ‘RTA Protocol’ that I have been working on jointly with a fellow trainee and report back to two of the Directors at HH, Alisha Ward and Craig Ralph.
11:00am – Meeting in the boardroom with Supervisor and Industrial Disease Team members regarding the upcoming Industrial Disease file clinics in Durham and Sunderland. The clinics should be a good opportunity to discuss the claims with clients on a face to face basis and help build rapport between the Firm and our clientele. We need to make sure we are well prepared – I learn that these cases will involve noise induced hearing loss under the Factories Act 1961. We discuss the criteria for establishing the merits of the claims as well as how to progress the files and maximise damages. I take detailed notes and type these up following the meeting.
12:30pm – Quick stop at the shops to pick up lunch and a coffee, and have a quick chat with colleagues. I eat lunch at my desk whilst reading through some case law provided by Alisha Ward, Director at Hampson Hughes Solicitors, relevant to the ‘MOJ Protocol’ project. I make some quick notes and report conclusions drawn by email. File case law and relevant notes in my training contract folder.
1:15pm – Continue my review of noise induced hearing loss articles, sample medical reports and audiograms provided in earlier meeting in advance of the upcoming file clinics. It’s evident already these claims are extremely involved and will require interpretation of highly specialist medical evidence which may well make or break the claim. Supervisor has assured us we will be allowed to work independently on these files and make these sorts of value judgements ourselves.
At Hampson Hughes Solicitors you are always expected to show initiative and from a trainee’s point of view it is extremely reassuring to know you opinion is trusted and highly valued.
3:00pm – Feeling adequately up to speed on the issues relating to the hearing loss claims I shift focus back to my task list. I have a variety of files in my case load allowing me to experience a wide spectrum of issues. I review my emails in tandem with this and then call the third party in an attempt to negotiate settlement on two files where the third party has been so far uncooperative. Negotiating is another key skill so it is good opportunity to get some further practice in! This often entails quick thinking to counter any arguments raised so when you settle a file on good terms this is always one of the most satisfying aspects of the job. On this occasion the third party insurers confirm they will review the file further and return to me in due course.
4:30pm – Liaise with colleague on new work flows for the Stage 2 and Industrial Disease processes. Once these are in place we hope to be able to improve efficiency even further, allowing us to help more clients whilst retaining our ability to advance claims as quickly as possible. Commercial awareness is a key asset that is actively encouraged and fostered at HH, allowing us to retain our edge over the competition!
5:15pm – Review my emails and tidy up any outstanding issues that have arisen during the course of the day. Today this involves reviewing some medical evidence and devising an action plan on several files where the clients have suffered quite severe injuries.
6:00pm – Working day is done. Complete my training contract diary detailing the tasks worked on during the day and head home to relax in preparation for another early start tomorrow!