They had one job.
Solicitors - under the protection of pseudonyms - have confessed to the biggest mistakes they made when they were yet to qualify, reassuring trainees who are worried that their early unforced errors may have already put their legal career in jeopardy.
'Martian Law' confessed that he fouled up just two weeks into his training contract, when he accidentally forwarded an email in a litigation matter to the other side "without checking the email chain, which included confidential advice from our own expert...That wasn't fun".
'Muto123' did equally poorly when he sent a spreadsheet containing the confidential details of all his client's employees to every single person in the client's business. "Went off to play football, checked my phone again to see a message from the partner asking if I could recall that email asap. Never sprinted so fast back to the office".
In a worthwhile learning moment, Muto123 discovered that the imagined fallout was worse than the reality. "Surprisingly the client took it much better than feared", recognising it was a mistake and telling the chastened trainee that most of the recipients "probably knew anyway".
Other solicitors remembered fearing dire repercussions for stumbling across something they should not have. "When I was a trainee I attended the firm’s Christmas party and witnessed a partner and a PA having a bonk in the male toilet 30 minutes after the official finishing time (they were legless and thought everyone would’ve gone by then)", said 'memobo'. "I spread it to my trainee friends and the incident became known to everyone. The partner gave me a hard time but quit before I qualified".
'Marshall Hall' was a first seat trainee when his supervisor gave him a divorce to deal with. There was "diddly squit money to actually argue over", until the client called to say that her husband had settled a personal injury claim for a substantial sum and had vowed to "'spend the lot' before she got her hands on any in the divorce case".
"Boss told me to go ahead and get an injunction. So I applied, but 'on notice' rather than ex-parte. Ooops. By the time of the injunction hearing the H had indeed spent most of it", said Marshall. He escaped adverse consequences when the judge ruling that the PI compensation would not have been available to the wife anyway. "I think he was being kind though..."
A relaxed demeanour at his Magic Circle firm almost did for 'Wang', of whom a partner wrote for his second seat appraisal: "Far too casual in his approach. When given a task by me, saying 'Ok, cool I'll get it done' is not an appropriate response to a senior equity partner".
"It's not appropriate to take your trainee to Goldfingers where you snort lines of marching powder off a dancer's naked boobs either", said Wang, years later and safely out of the partner's grasp, "but I didn't put that in your 3 fooking 60".
Tell ROF the errors that made you soil yourself as a trainee in the comments.