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A day in the life of – Lauren Tillott

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Day in the life of

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


8:30: Arrive at work and check my emails in order to compile a to-do list for that day. Inevitably working in a contentious department means there are a lots of time deadlines to prioritise. I use the flag system on Outlook to create a quick reference tool for what needs doing today. This is a good opportunity to update my calendar for the week. I also note future dates such as an upcoming mediation, a costs order and the date by which a witness statement needs to be finalised.

9:00: Work permitting, I will head down to the “Courtyard” which is our new café area to grab a quick coffee and some fruit to prepare me for the day’s work ahead. Fruit and teas/coffees/hot chocolate are complimentary and a great perk.

9:10: I have been asked to research some CPR procedural rules for an associate before a meeting with a client that is taking place tomorrow morning. A lot of the research tools needed are now available online; however, I also refer to the hardcopy CPR rules in the department when producing the research memo.

10:00: By now I have finished my research task and start drafting a set of instructions to counsel. This involves a meeting with one of the partners to brief me on the case. The fortunate thing about being a trainee at a smaller firm means I get one-to-one time with each of the partners in the department and the firm really does have an open door policy. Associates and partners alike are willing to provide further clarification and explanation on instructions and case background if there are areas which you are unclear on. I start by reading through a couple of precedent documents to see what is required and then the three case folders. I stop for lunch when I have typed up a rough note.

12:45: If I have been organised I will try to bring in a packed lunch. There is not a requirement to eat at your desk and taking your lunch break is encouraged. Today, I didn’t bring in my lunch but there are plenty of local lunch spots to choose from, my favourite is Leadenhall market which is a short stroll away. I am looking forward to the summer when I can eat my lunch in the nearby parks. My intake tends to have lunch together a couple times a week. This is a good opportunity to see what the other trainees are up to in their respective departments and allows you to get a feel for each department’s work and cases. Another good way to do this is to read the Edwin Coe blogs, available online.

13:30: After lunch, I prepare the instructions in a final format and email it off to the partner for amendments to be made.

14:30: One of the partners asks me if I would like to attend a meeting with him and a client. I check my diary and my to-do list and decided it is too good an opportunity to turn down. I will reshuffle my to-do list when I get back. My role is to take a written note of what is said to ensure an accurate record is kept for the file should we be instructed to act on the matter. I also ensure the relevant photocopies of ID documents and a recent utility bill are taken during the meeting for our anti-money laundering procedures.

17:00: After the meeting, I dictate my meeting note and email the partner confirming what documentation we have requested from the client.

18:15: The last thing for me to do before leaving is to reshuffle my to-do list in preparation for tomorrow and check I have imputed all my time correctly for the day. Before finishing, I jot down in my trainee diary the matters I have worked on today and what I have learnt.

18:45: Leave the office and start my commute home.

Other daily tasks are more administrative for example, preparing bundles and photocopying documents to exhibit to witness statements. Other days could include an all-day mediation or trial. I have heard rumours at other firms, that all trainees do during their training contract is spend their day by the photocopier but this really is not the case at Edwin Coe, as a trainee you are expected to hit the ground running. As a trainee you are given exposure to a diverse range of cases and can expect stimulating and rewarding work. Questions are encouraged and you feel like you are playing a significant role within your group.

The highlights of training at Edwin Coe include…

There are good work and social elements combined. I have joined the Edwin Coe netball team, so far we are undefeated but that is a slight exaggeration because we had one game before they decided to resurface the nearby courts. Still, one game played and one game won! There are also quiz nights, football teams and Christmas parties for the firm and also with your department. This ensures a good balance of high quality work and also a genuine collegiate atmosphere.