Life as a trainee solicitor … outside of the law

12 June, 2018

Being a trainee solicitor at Cripps Pemberton Greenish isn’t just about developing your core legal, commercial and interpersonal skills by doing interesting and challenging work for a broad range of clients; it’s about making the most of the other opportunities that come as part of being a trainee too.  Those opportunities include taking part in some of the firm’s charitable, pro-bono and business development work.


Charity involvement


As a trainee you can expect to be involved with the firm’s elected charity of the year.  The Cripps Pemberton Greenish Charity Committee takes the lead on a number of firm-wide events organised in aid of the chosen charity, which for 2018 is Rethink Mental Illness.   Trainees can sit on the committee itself, put forward ideas for events, or simply offer a helping hand when an event takes place.  Involvement with the Charity Committee offers a great opportunity to meet others from around the firm outside of your immediate team whilst raising funds for a worthy cause.

During my first six months as a trainee, I was the treasurer for the Charity Committee, a very involved position which meant that I played a key role in Cripps Pemberton Greenish’s fundraising efforts for 2017.  I am currently organising our annual Kings Hill games night (my current seat, Commercial Property, is based in our Kings Hill office) which will see colleagues from both offices come together for a night of competitive gaming in aid of Rethink Mental Illness.


Pro-bono opportunities


Before I started my training contract I knew pro-bono was an area I’d be keen to get involved with.  Sure enough, during my first few weeks of my first seat, I found myself alongside some of the other trainees running workshops on the topic of social media and the law to GCSE students at a local school.  The students were lively and engaged and my fellow trainees and I were able to enjoy a sense of achievement knowing that we had opened the students’ eyes to some topical and informative yet intriguing issues around the ever- evolving status of social media and the law.

Next week Cripps Pemberton Greenish is sending a team of walkers, of which I am one, to the London Legal Walk 2018, an event which raises money to help support organisations in London and the south-east that provide pro-bono legal advice to some of the most vulnerable individuals in society.  I am proud to be part of a firm that encourages its people to take part in events such as these.


Contribution to business development


Business development is an activity and core skill that trainees (and indeed other junior professionals) can expect to have at least some exposure to early on in their careers.  Cripps Pemberton Greenish trainees are encouraged to take part in business development activities from day one.  I recently attended an event in London for junior professionals in property, which proved to be an important opportunity to meet other professionals in property and to generally broaden my knowledge of the industry as a whole. 

Trainees are provided with the opportunity to invite clients to Cripps Pemberton Greenish events, and similarly are encouraged to attend any suitable client events.  I particularly enjoy this aspect of life as a trainee as it encourages me to build a network of contacts outside of my Cripps Pemberton Greenish colleagues.


Making the most of the opportunities


As a Cripps Pemberton Greenish trainee, I am given the freedom to participate in as little or as much charitable, pro-bono and business development work as I would like.  Ultimately the extent of my involvement depends on my workload and my team’s requirements and so it varies over time – currently, seven months into my training contract, I am keen to ensure that I make the most of the wealth of opportunities available to me.