Specialist Traineeship v General Traineeship Watch

evalilyXOX
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#1
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Hi everyone !

So I will be starting my traineeship in September and the firm have asked me to think about training seats.

The main seats they have available are:
Corporate & Commercial
Private Client
Dispute Resolution
Employment & Pensions
Commercial Real Estate

They have also emailed to say that they are offering the opportunity to do a specialist traineeship in one of the above departments which I am really considering.

Any thoughts on whether specialist traineeships are a good idea? I don't know whether they are too restrictive and that it is better to train more broadly.

If I were to do it, I would want to specialise in corporate as I am currently working as a Corporate & Banking paralegal at a silver circle law firm and thoroughly enjoy it.

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999tigger
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(Original post by evalilyXOX)
Hi everyone !

So I will be starting my traineeship in September and the firm have asked me to think about training seats.

The main seats they have available are:
Corporate & Commercial
Private Client
Dispute Resolution
Employment & Pensions
Commercial Real Estate

They have also emailed to say that they are offering the opportunity to do a specialist traineeship in one of the above departments which I am really considering.

Any thoughts on whether specialist traineeships are a good idea? I don't know whether they are too restrictive and that it is better to train more broadly.

If I were to do it, I would want to specialise in corporate as I am currently working as a Corporate & Banking paralegal at a silver circle law firm and thoroughly enjoy it.

Speak to the trainees. Do you think you know enough to commit now? If you love corporate and are sure then go for it. I imagine you sit there during all the time and fill in the rest as and when you interact with other departments? You might for instance already know you hate property or private client. Studying at uni or LPC is not always the same as actual practice. Maybe find out more and work with your firm. It is just personal choice. Not everyone knows what they want to do. Find out more.
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evalilyXOX
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Speak to the trainees. Do you think you know enough to commit now? If you love corporate and are sure then go for it. I imagine you sit there during all the time and fill in the rest as and when you interact with other departments? You might for instance already know you hate property or private client. Studying at uni or LPC is not always the same as actual practice. Maybe find out more and work with your firm. It is just personal choice. Not everyone knows what they want to do. Find out more.
Yeah I am not really keen on the other choices offered. I did all of the options during the LPC and really disliked Commercial Real Estate and Private Client. I knew these seats were offered by the firm but still wanted to train there since they get a good reputation from previous trainees, Legal 500 etc.

Yeah I have been working in corporate for the last few months and will be there until August. I think for the specialist traineeship I would spend 1.5 yrs in my specialist department and then 6 months in a court-based seat for variety.

I have spoken to both a trainee doing a specialist traineeship and one doing the general one and their advice is that it really comes down to personal preference.

Thanks for responding
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999tigger
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(Original post by evalilyXOX)
Yeah I am not really keen on the other choices offered. I did all of the options during the LPC and really disliked Commercial Real Estate and Private Client. I knew these seats were offered by the firm but still wanted to train there since they get a good reputation from previous trainees, Legal 500 etc.

Yeah I have been working in corporate for the last few months and will be there until August. I think for the specialist traineeship I would spend 1.5 yrs in my specialist department and then 6 months in a court-based seat for variety.

I have spoken to both a trainee doing a specialist traineeship and one doing the general one and their advice is that it really comes down to personal preference.

Thanks for responding
My one bit of advice is that practice I believe is very different from either academic or LPC. Seats can be made from worst to best by the people you work with.
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wannabelaw124
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Hi,

I am currently doing a specialist training contract so I should be able to provide some insight. My specialism is in commercial property, which takes up 18 months of my training contract. I will also be doing 2 x 3 month seats, which will be in litigation and employment.

I really enjoy being a specialist trainee. I am given a lot of responsibility and have lots client contact. Having longer in the seats has given me the opportunity to run my own files as well as assist the partners on more complicated matters. I also assist with training the generalists. I feel more like a permanent employee rather than just a trainee. As it’s quite a broad department that does everything from agriculture, residential development, commercial leases, and bits planning and construction, I don’t really feel like I’m missing out as at a larger firm those areas would have their own departments anyway.

However, not all specialist trainees at my firm made the right decision. I know of 3 who left the firm and went on to a different practice area. (The departments were litigation, employment, and PI). My advice is to ask each department what experience a specialist trainee can gain to see if you can keep as varied as interesting as possible.
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