Four things I learnt as a trainee at TLT

After completing a hands-on training contract, Oliver Bell has recently qualified at TLT. Luckily, AllAboutLaw managed to tear him away from his important projects long enough for him to share what he learnt, and Oliver give us some insight into seats, secondments and sitting next to partners at TLT.

  • Last updated May 15, 2018 5:40:52 PM
  • By Oliver Bell, newly qualified solicitor, TLT
Image courtesy of TLT

1) Really get to know your clients and their business

As a trainee, I received instant exposure to client-facing work, including the highest profile case my team was working on. It can be challenging to get up to speed on files that are in advanced stages but I enjoyed building relationships with clients and understanding their businesses. I learnt that the best service you can provide to a client is giving clear, legally sound commercial advice rather than simply explaining the law to them – and that comes from having a good business knowledge.

2) Get stuck in and make the most of the expertise all around you

TLT isn’t an old school firm – there’s a modern and refreshing approach to how things are done here. You can take on a lot of responsibility as a trainee, if you want to, but you’re always very well-supported. I was sat next to senior equity partners when I was training and the open plan nature of the office means that there’s no having to knock on people’s doors and ask for a few minutes of their time. Partners appreciate that the training contract is a learning experience, so I’d definitely say that it’s important to chat things through and tap into their knowledge. Also, take on any training programmes or workshops that are on offer; I found them very useful!

3) If you get a chance for a secondment, grab it!

TLT pride themselves on the quality of their client relationships and there are often opportunities for secondment. For my second seat, I spent six months on a placement with one of our large retail clients. It was an excellent learning curve and a great opportunity for me to bolster the relationship and gain a deep understanding of the client’s business. As well as adding value, I gained masses of experience from running my own negotiations and working closely with their in-house legal team. It provided me with a really useful insight for my next seat too, where I took on projects for other retail clients.

4) Go along to open days and get to know the firm before you apply

As a trainee, I wanted to gain as much exposure as possible and TLT’s ambitious growth was very appealing. After attending open days and speaking to current trainees, it was clear that they were enjoying it and that I wouldn’t just be stuck doing endless photocopying or back office work. The partners were really approachable and genuinely interested in what I wanted to get out of my training contract. I liked that I’d be able to get out there and build client relationships, with good support.

Sound like your kind of training contract? Head over to to find out more about life as a TLT trainee and apply for one of their open days or vacation schemes.

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