The transition from trainee to NQ

1 September, 2017
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

In this week’s trainee solicitor blog, we catch up with Anna Ridley to find out about NQ life in the advisory team.

I trained at Cripps Pemberton Greenish and have recently qualified into the advisory team. I advise on a range of issues including Wills, trusts, Powers of Attorney and general estate planning.

How did you decide what area you would like to qualify into?

I started my training contract thinking that I would like to be a family lawyer. I always knew that I wanted to work with private individuals, as opposed to corporate clients, because I love the variety involved in working with the public and the fact that people are entrusting me to help them with their personal affairs, often during very upsetting and emotional times.

However, I knew as soon as I started my advisory seat that I wanted to qualify into the advisory team. The variety of work was greater than I had experienced in any other department and the work was incredibly challenging. No two days are the same and no two clients are the same. I also prefer transactional work to litigation, which ultimately helped me to decide that advisory work was right for me.

Within my first month in the seat, I told my trainee supervisor that I wanted to qualify into the advisory team and I have not regretted my decision since!

Is being an NQ different from being a trainee?

It is very different and it is certainly the steepest learning curve that I have experienced so far in my career.

The most striking difference is the level of responsibility you suddenly take on. From day one as an NQ at Cripps Pemberton Greenish, you are responsible for your own matters and clients and are building up your own case load. It’s daunting compared with being a trainee where you predominantly work on other fee earner’s matters. However, it is also encouraging; you have been training for years and having all this responsibility means that you have finally achieved what you set out to do!

Responsibility can be scary as it means added stress and pressure. However it also brings with it a greater element of control over your workload. As an NQ, you get to build relationships with your clients and see matters through from the beginning to the end and this can be incredibly rewarding.

The great thing about being an NQ at Cripps Pemberton Greenish is the people. I have a huge team of people around me who help me out and who have a breadth of experience for me to draw on.

Does a training contract at Cripps Pemberton Greenish prepare you for life as an NQ?

Yes. The structure of Cripps Pemberton Greenish’s training contract ensures that trainees are given a lot of responsibility while still being supported. As a trainee I was given exposure to a wide variety of matters, clients and case management which has definitely helped me transition to life as an NQ.

I completed seats in all three of the firm’s divisions (real estate, corporate and private client). This means that I have a wide network of colleagues across the firm to support and help me when needed.