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Life of a TC Young Trainee: Covid-19 Edition

Life of a TC Young Trainee: Covid-19 Edition

There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed the work place for all. I began my traineeship with TC Young in the midst of the pandemic on 09 November 2020. While we can now begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I think it is safe to say that my training experience together with all those young lawyers embarking on their legal career in 2020 will be unlike any other.

So, how does my experience differ to that of previous TC Young court trainees? I have considered this question many times throughout my traineeship and I have come to find three main distinctions.

  1. Osmosis:

There is no question that one of the main disadvantages brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic is the loss of learning by osmosis. As the saying goes, you are only as smart as the company you keep. Working from home will hinder any trainee’s ability to absorb the information that hearing colleagues interacting with clients and discussing cases internally allows. I believe that working increased hours in the office surrounded by experienced solicitors has only improved my trainee experience.

  1. Physical Court Attendance:

It is undisputed that the main practical difference that I have experienced when embarking on a litigation traineeship during Covid-19 is the lack of physical attendance at Court. While I have appeared on behalf of clients in both Summary Cause and Simple Procedure actions in Sheriff Courts across Scotland since the commencement of my traineeship, my experience has been largely limited to teleconference and WebEx hearings. The electronic appearances have, however, allowed me to find my feet and increase my confidence within my advocacy. I have had the opportunity to physically appear before a Sheriff in Glasgow Sheriff Court on two occasions, and I look forward to making more physical appearances as my traineeship continues.

  1. Internal Networking:

Starting a traineeship is daunting for any trainee, but doing so when colleagues are working from home or making use of hybrid working is a completely different experience. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to complete work experience with the TC Young Court Department pre-pandemic. As such, I was able to meet and work with my team before I was their trainee and before any restrictions. The pandemic has shown the importance of platforms such as Teams to not only ensure that a trainee is able to build a rapport with their team but to feel supported and able to ask questions from anywhere. 

Despite the differences, TC Young have worked hard to ensure that my experience is as similar to that of previous trainees. From the first day of my traineeship, I was given the opportunity to develop my practical and legal knowledge by being involved in real cases. Since then, my daily to-do list can include:

  • Drafting client communication, written submissions for court and various legal documents;
  • Raising court actions;
  • Carrying out legal research and responding to client queries;
  • Preparing cases for Proof; and
  • Taking instructions and appear in various Sheriff Courts

I have also found that while my colleagues’ working patterns may have changed from that of 2019, they have always been willing to help and answer any of my questions whether that be from home or at the next desk. My traineeship so far has been different from what I had imagined, but I look forward to my future with TC Young.

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Written by : Chloe Bannigan