Beginning a career as a trainee solicitor in the midst of a global pandemic is not, and has not been without its challenges. That said, 2020 was a year of immense difficulty for many and it is the hope of everyone at BG that our clients and their families are continuing to stay safe.
I started my training contract with the firm in October 2020, in the gap between the first and second lockdowns. I completed my Law degree at the University of Lincoln in May 2020 remotely due to the pandemic. I am currently a part-time student at the University of Law in Leeds, studying the Legal Practice Course with masters degree.
My association with BG stems back to 2014, as my week of compulsory work experience was with the firm. This week bolstered my interest in working in Law, and I returned to the firm in 2018 for a further week. In 2019 I spent 6 weeks working for a city firm in Lincoln alongside my degree, before graduating six months later. As my degree ran its course, staff at BG were regularly on hand to offer advice and support.
Myself and the firm remained in contact throughout my degree, and I was offered the chance to return as a full-time trainee solicitor early in 2020, albeit plans were put on hold as the first lockdown arrived. This delayed my start until last October. Traineeships are very difficult to come by, and I am grateful to the firm for the opportunity.
I have been with the firm for a shade over three months, and have been in the office throughout the second and now what will be the third national lockdown. There are several colleagues I have not met in person, and have only spoken to either over the phone or video conferencing due to restrictions on the number of staff allowed in the office. The firm has reacted quickly to the demands the pandemic placed upon it, with all staff having access to remote facilities. This has allowed service to our clients to carry on as normal.
As a trainee, I would ordinarily be attending client meetings in the office and court hearings. As we have shut our doors for the short term, obviously this cannot happen and all meetings are digital. Trainees regard accessing these meetings as good learning opportunities, and so this challenge has had to be overcome. I have been able to attend hearings remotely or by dial-in, so the opportunities have not been lost.
As 2021 progresses, lets hope that normality returns and we can look forward to seeing clients (and staff!) in the office and not digitally. The days before distancing feel a long time ago, so lets hope that everyone can soon be back together.
Ryan Coulson, Trainee Solicitor
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