The life of a trainee solicitor: Edinburgh edition

We spoke to David Harvey, trainee solicitor at Addleshaw Goddard, about life in the Scottish capital.

  • Last updated 11-Jan-2019 13:01:32
  • Article provided by Addleshaw Goddard
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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 third seat of four with just under one year to go. 

Which seat have you enjoyed the most?

So far I would have to say the commercial real estate seat has been my favourite. The good thing about my seat placement so far however is that I have not been put in a seat that has not been enjoyable. One seat to go and hopefully my statement does not change.

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? 

Yes – I have found that the work given to me in commercial real estate and the work that I can anticipate getting involved in in the future has kept me intrigued and interested. The training throughout has been helpful not to mention the one on one guidance from colleagues. 

Life at Addleshaw Goddard

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 currently sit in the corporate seat of my traineeship. The office is open plan which I feel really aids in providing a nature of openness throughout from partners down to associates. I feel surprisingly relaxed (most of the time) at getting up and talking to others of any level about work that has been given to me and I am always surprised at the level of readiness from colleagues to sit me down, taking time out of their day, to chat me through any issues I have.

In what ways do you get to socialise with other trainees in your intake?

Given the cross border nature of our firm Addleshaw's goes above and beyond in terms of socialisation. Each department within the firm will host an "away day" where people from all offices gather to get to know each other more. I find that not only do I get to socialise with other trainees but also associates and above. Addleshaw's also provides Trainee conferences for more firm-wide activities and has a firm budget per office for more local get-togethers and socialising. Recently the Scottish contingent of trainees partook in a mini-golf tournament (which I won).

How do you manage and prioritise your workload?

I know everyone is different in this respect. I tend to use a "to-do" list and colour each task according to level of urgency. I find that you can have a lot on the go at once and putting it all on one piece of paper really helps me to focus on what is most pressing. 

Are there any elements to training in Edinburgh that you would not have experienced elsewhere?

Besides looking out at the view from the top floor of Addleshaw's office of the panoramic views over the whole of Edinburgh I would have to say that Addelshaws, in particular, makes the most of its Edinburgh presence. Many of our larger clients from England have a Scottish presence and I find that many of these opportunities are filtered through Edinburgh. 

Life in Edinburgh

What is your favourite thing to do after work as a trainee in Edinburgh? 

Definitely get out for a pint with other trainees and colleagues.

And what is your favourite weekend activity in the city? 

Walking with my fiancée down the many Edinburgh walking paths to a different café in the city each weekend for a sandwich and soup. It is our mission to find the best sandwich and soup maker in Edinburgh.

Can you sum up the city in three words?

Diverse. Bustling. Castle. 

As a trainee lawyer, do you find that there are a lot of other young professionals working in the city? 

So many. I find that given that most trainees within Addleshaw went to different universities that when socialising with them you meet their friends from university and in turn meet those friends' friends. 

Is it easy to get around the city, and find somewhere to live? 

The bus system in the city is fantastic. It costs around £50 per month but the buses are so regular and cover the whole of Edinburgh that it is worth every penny.

Finding somewhere to live is another story. Property is snapped up so fast that I found it difficult to even get a viewing for a flat or house at some points. 

David's top five reasons to live and work in Edinburgh

1. I lived on the West Coast of Scotland for most of my life and wanted a change.

2. The opportunities in the legal profession I find are best in Edinburgh compared with the rest of Scotland.

3. The city is always busy and intriguing and there is always something to do.

4. The fact that every weekend you can chose to do something different in Edinburgh and never do the same thing twice.

5. My training contract was primarily to be based in Edinburgh which was one of the reasons I came through to Edinburgh in the first place. 

For more opportunities at Addleshaw Goddard, visit the firm’s profile and website.

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