The life of a trainee solicitor: Glasgow edition

The latest in our series of interviews with trainees from across the UK takes us to Glasgow. Kathleen Docherty, a trainee at Addleshaw Goddard, explains what life is like in the city, and gives us her top five reasons to live and work there. 

  • Last updated Dec 5, 2018 2:32:26 PM
  • Article Provided by Addleshaw Goddard

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 and have approximately ten months until I qualify.

Which seat have you enjoyed the most?
I would say that I have enjoyed every seat I have been in (real estate, private client and now corporate finance) but real estate and corporate are my favourite departments so far. This is also quite beneficial as I have found there is a lot of overlap between the work undertaken by both departments, which has allowed me to use my knowledge from one seat while working in another.

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, my training so far has confirmed that I want to work in a large commercial law firm and be part of a team that is involved in a variety of business transactions. However, I have not yet fully decided which area I wish to specialise in. I still have another 10 months to go until qualification and there are still departments I would like to undertake a seat in, or work in conjunction with as part of a wider transactional team.


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?
In all departments within Addleshaw Goddard there is a strong emphasis on collaboration and teamwork. Our office is open plan and trainees are usually located near the centre of the department and close to the partners. This ensures that the trainees are immersed within the team and benefit from observing and working alongside all members of the department.

Communication is also key. As a trainee, it is often a little nerve-wracking asking your colleagues for help because you don’t want to appear to be asking “stupid” questions. I have found it very encouraging to find that everyone in the team, from junior members to the more senior, still ask questions and discuss practice protocol. Trainees are constantly encouraged to ask questions and keep in contact with the solicitors who are passing them work.

In what ways do you get to socialise with other trainees in your intake?
The Scottish trainees from the Glasgow and Edinburgh offices regularly meet and socialise. Often trainees will meet for an impromptu drink after work on a Friday. We also organise activity nights such as Karaoke, attending the Edinburgh Fringe or most recently taking part in mini golf. Our next event will be the Trainee Christmas Dinner in December.

We also get the opportunity to meet with our colleagues in England when we attend training courses at their offices in Leeds, Manchester and London. Additionally, the trainees from across the UK attend the annual Trainee Conference, which usually entails updates from HR, presentations from our colleagues who have been on client secondment, fun team-building exercises and finished off with dinner and drinks.

How do you manage and prioritise your workload?
The first question I usually ask once I have been given a piece of work is “When is this due?”. This is a simple yet effective way to quickly prioritise and evaluate how urgent a task is in comparison to other work I have been allocated.

I also utilise a daily work diary, which helps me keep track of the task that require to be undertaken and completed that day. In conjunction with this I use my digital calendar on Outlook to help me plan ahead and manage my workload for the coming weeks.

Life in Glasgow

What is your favourite thing to do after work as a trainee in Glasgow?
I enjoy walking through Kelvingrove Park on my way home from work. It is an oasis in the middle of a busy city. My favourite time to visit is in the autumn when the leaves are changing colour and the pathways become a sea of gold and amber leaves. The park is a popular place for dog walkers too, so it is an ideal place to sit and dog spot.

And what is your favourite weekend activity in the city?
I love visiting restaurants and trying out new cuisines. Glasgow so many different types of restaurants there is something for every palate. A personal favourite of mine is the Gannet in Finnieston. I would highly recommend trying their Stornoway black pudding scotch duck egg.

Can you sum up the city in three words?
People make Glasgow.

As a trainee lawyer, do you find that there are a lot of other young professionals working in the city?
Definitely. The city is home to some of the biggest law and accountancy firms, so there are a lot of other young professionals in the city starting their careers. Additionally, there are five hospitals within the Glasgow district so there are many junior doctors working here as well.

Is it easy to get around the city, and find somewhere to live?
Glasgow city centre is very well connected to the suburbs and to other towns in the surrounding area. There are regular buses and trains to get you where you need to be. There is also the subway which is affectionally known by Glaswegians as the “clockwork orange” due to the circular track system and the cars being painted a very bright shade of orange!

There are many suburban areas within the Glasgow area that provide ideal commuter access to the city centre. Rental prices and house prices generally within these areas are competitive and affordable for young professionals working in the city. The majority of other trainee solicitors I know working in Glasgow all live within a 30-minute commute.

Kathleen's top five reasons to live and work in Glasgow:

1. The city is officially the best shopping district outside London.

2. There is an incredible Arts scene within the city. There are several theatres, multiple music venues and countless museums and galleries… something for everyone!

3. There are lots of parks within the city, so it is very easy to escape from busy city life without travelling too far.

4. The city has some of the best nightlife; whether you want a quiet pint in a beer garden in the West End, a classy cocktail in the Merchant City or a night on the town along Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow has it all—and it won’t break the bank!

5. The people – Glaswegians are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.

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

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