Lawyers on the discussion board shared a shedload of good advice with a new trainee who asked them what they wished they'd been told at the start of their training contracts. I bunged up nine of their key tips earlier this year. Here are eleven more.
1. Keep people informed.
"If you get a new task and don't think you can meet the deadline, say so up front and explain why. If it's a no, say why it's a no, and offer to speak to other people about juggling."
2. Don't worry if small talk with clients or partners is awkward.
"It's how they communicate. They'll think they've had a wonderful conversation."
3. Don't say no to work then chip off out the door at 6pm every night.
" *eyes current trainee* "
4. Don't eat smelly food in open plan.
"And wash, regularly."
5. If you get into trouble, tell someone more senior immediately.
"And if you think you're heading for trouble then speak up before you get there. It's probably not as serious as you think. It's fine (up to a point) to get stuff wrong, occasionally - but a partner will never employ someone they can't trust to come clean."
6. Don't beat yourself up too much about making a mistake.
"Good trainees aren't good because they never make mistakes, they're good because they dont make the same mistake twice."
7. Don't get so drunk at official firm events that you make a dick of yourself.
On that note...
8. Be social and talk to people, but don't share every intimate detail of your life.
9. Office relationships are rarely a great idea, especially as a trainee.
"Avoid shitting where you eat."
10. Dress appropriately. Invest some of your first wage slips in decent attire.
"If you are a lady, don't wear ridiculously high/platformed 'fashion' heels. The associates will laugh."
"If you are a chap, don't wear a waistcoat with your new TM Lewin suit and skinny tie no matter how smart your mum says you look."
"And polish your shoes."
11. Be enthusiastic, even if the task is dross.
"It goes a long way."