The life of a trainee solicitor: Bristol edition

Bristol is a vibrant and lively city, with a lot to offer trainees and junior lawyers. We spoke to Sophie Hayward, a trainee solicitor at TLT’s Bristol office, to find out what she enjoys most about living and working in Bristol.

  • Last updated Nov 20, 2018 9:33:15 AM
  • Article Provided by TLT

A bit about the trainee

What seat of your training contract are you currently in, and how long have you got left of your training contract?
I am currently in my fourth and final seat of my training contract with only four months left until qualification.

Which seat have you enjoyed the most?
All have been equally interesting and rewarding however I have most enjoyed my current seat – employment.

Do you feel like your training so far has given you a clear idea of what direction you would like to take your career in?
Definitely, I have been able to identify strengths and elements of interest in each of my seats which have helped me to shape my preferred direction. Equally as important, I have been able to realise particular areas that do not interest me as much which has helped narrow my focus going forward.

Life at TLT

What’s the support system like in your current seat - is it easy to develop a working relationship with partners, associates, and fellow trainees?
I have a great support system in my current seat. From my supervisor, who is readily available and consistently aware of my caseload, to the other members of the team, all are willing to spend time providing me with feedback and assistance when required, regardless of seniority.

In what ways do you get to socialise with other trainees in your intake?
I have made great friends with the other trainees in my intake and therefore much of our socialising takes place outside of work-related events. This comes in the form of frequent squash games, brunches, Friday drinks and even holidays together.

How do you manage and prioritise your workload?
I am a strong believer in a comprehensive and organised "to-do list". I review this every evening before I leave work, updating what the priorities are for the next day and update this in the morning and throughout the day as matters progress.

Are there any elements to training in Bristol that you would not have experienced elsewhere? 
There are significant networking opportunities within Bristol ranging from a corporate softball and hockey leagues to regular firm events and opportunities to meet local clients.

Life in Bristol

What is your favourite thing to do after work as a trainee in Bristol?
Meeting with the other trainees and catching up each other's days either on the squash court or over a pint of cider, which inevitably turns into enjoying one of Bristol's many burger restaurants.

And what is your favourite weekend activity in the city?
Making use of the Bristol to Bath cycle path on my bike with friends, maybe stopping off at a pub for some lunch on the way back or heading up to the Downs for a BBQ and drinks (obviously heavily weather dependent!).

Can you sum up the city in three words?
Vibrant, diverse and welcoming

As a trainee lawyer, do you find that there are a lot of other young professionals working in the city?
There are a lot of young professionals and quite a lot of events put on by Bristol Young Professionals and the Junior Lawyer Division which assist in facilitating networking.

Is it easy to get around the city?
I prefer to walk where possible as the buses are not entirely reliable or frequent. Cycling is also very encouraged and supported in the city.

What are your top five reasons to live and work in Bristol?

- Work/life balance alongside access to "London clients/work"

- Affordability

- Proximity to the countryside

- Lifestyle – nearby to beaches/camping spots/biking trails

- Culture – food, drink, music

Like the sound of training with TLT in Bristol? Applications for TLT’s vacation schemes and training contracts are now open.  Head over to the TLT website to find out more about TLT and to apply for one of their Bristol opportunities.

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