Trainee Lawyer Tips: The Eleven Commandments

by WardBlawg on January 24, 2011

n a former life I was a trainee solicitor at one of the biggest commercial law firms in Scotland. Below are eleven commandments which it would have been useful to follow from day one. They are listed as posted on Twitter:-

#1 : Use the best authority possible for your work
#2 : Submit work to partners as if it is going out in your name as partner
#3 : Go to many social events but don’t date anyone from the same law firm
#4 : Work hard but not to 4am if not getting kept on
#5 : If asked to do a bun run, just do it
#6 : Use spreadsheets (or other project management tools) to track finance and more menial work
#7 : Keep updated with relevant news via email subscriptions, twitter and google alerts
#8 : Establish and develop a solid personal brand using Linkedin and Twitter
#9 : Note that most of what is learnt on the llb bears little relation to practice
#10 : Try to get as much client contact as possible
#11 : Declare mistakes early and learn from them, but never make the same mistake twice

These were originally retweeted and commented on by various great twitter contacts in my legal network, all of whom are well worth following:- @Greggio_f, @legaleaglemhm, @MagicCircleMinx, @Metlawyer, @alistair_sloan, @AshleyConnick, @highlandlawyer, @fiona_simpson, @HampshireLawyer, @vicmoffatt, @debbos, @Ju_Summerhayes, @Vidocq_CC and @lods1211.

I will repost their tweets below. If you’d like to add to the list, please either post your comment below or on twitter. It is hoped that these tips and comments coming from the UK’s legal network on twitter will assist any future trainee lawyers or even summer placement students wondering how they can get their traineeship off to a flying start.



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  • Wardblawg

    Further comments by UK lawyers posted on twitter are as follows using the hashtag #traineetip:-

    @HampshireLawyer: Find yourself a good mentor within the firm. This may or may not be the official one if there is one.

    @vicmoffatt: Make yourself indispensable if you want a position at the end

    @Debbos: Don’t do law unless you know someone who can get you a training contract! Be willing to sell your soul & body! Ha!

    @HampshireLawyer: Never make the same mistake twice.

    @HampshireLawyer: Civil litigation – the basics. I am sure this will apply your side of the border.

    @HampshireLawyer: Make sure you understand what you are being asked to do. If in doubt, ask again.

    @HampshireLawyer: Show you have thought. Suggest things. Ask questions.

    @Ju_Summerhayes: Do the very very best you can without thinking that you have to suck up. Just be yourself 100%.

    @lods1211: Attend legal research training on case law & legislation or organise with legal publishers directly.

    @Vidocq_CC: Never forget to check for alternative explanations for the facts, never!

    If you’d like to comment, please do so below or via twitter as a tweet to or or using the hashtag #traineetip and I will re-post here.

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  • Miami Personal Injury Lawyer

    As you can gather from these eleven commandments, the learning process constitutes the starting point. This means that the monitoring of the learning results does not consist in measuring the “reproduction capacity”.

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