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A day in the life of – Oliver Bartholomew

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Day in the life of

Thursday, April 1, 2021


“Having completed my training contract with Edwin Coe, I qualified as an associate in our Group Action Litigation team in September 2020. The first seat of my training contract was in Dispute Resolution and I knew from that moment onwards that contentious work was the kind of work I wanted to do upon qualification. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be offered a role in that team on qualification.

My own personal experience is that the transition from trainee to newly qualified solicitor was a smooth one, although this was undoubtedly helped by the fact that I had already 6 months working in the same department in which I had qualified into. I had already begun to take the lead on some files, with supervision by a senior associate and partner, so that when I qualified I continued working on those files and acquiring some of my own.

As a former trainee, I would say that trainees are given quite a lot of responsibility and autonomy to a certain extent, so the transition to newly qualified solicitor wasn’t as much of a daunting prospect as one would have imagined it to be!

My experience to date has shown that the working life of a newly qualified solicitor can vary considerably but being able to use your own initiative whilst also knowing when to ask guidance from your more senior colleagues are essential attributes for any newly qualified solicitor.

Life as a newly qualified solicitor has taught me the importance of being very organised, and being able to deal with pressure, including dealing with sometimes, demanding clients. This skill can only truly be developed with experience.

It would be somewhat tricky to describe a typical day as the work we do is so varied and can include anything from contract claims, to shareholder disputes, to fraud claims and this list is not in any way exhaustive! What I would say is that compared to life as a trainee, there is a lot more client contact and drafting correspondence, whereas as a trainee I was more involved in supporting the team, for example by undertaking legal research. As a newly qualified solicitor, you are more in control of your work load and have more autonomy in how you manage and structure your work”.