Never a dull moment..
The last month seems to have flown by, with lots of interesting work in the family department in addition to a number of exciting events to attend.
The end of March saw the BTSS AGM event at Utopia, where it was time for the old BTSS committee to hand over the reigns. There were sweets and cakes galore as the hopeful candidates campaigned for their place on the 2016 committee. I have been the Charities and CSR representative for the committee for the past year and it has been a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow legal professionals across the region, attend some entertaining events and raise money for the BTSS charity. Higgs' trainees Georgia and Emma were elected on to the board as social secretaries (congratulations to them both!) and I'm sure there will be some exciting events in store for this years' BTSS members.
It was a pleasure to attend the recent Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards at the ICC. The trainees were treated to a place at the event which included a lovely three course meal and plenty of wine. It was an enjoyable evening with live performances and an entertaining host. I was shortlisted for the role of Trainee Solicitor of the Year so it was with some anticipation that I awaited the awards section of the night. I didn't scoop the award but it was fantastic to receive the support of the firm and was an enjoyable event to be a part of.
I'm now entering my eighth month in the Family department and I feel like I've well and truly settled in to the team. The extended time in the department has provided me the opportunity to develop my skills and take on a higher level of responsibility. Throughout the eight months I've been involved in some interesting and complex pieces of work. As the only trainee in the department I work across the team, which means I have an interesting variety of divorce, financial and children work.
My day can range from attending client meetings; drafting documents such as divorce particulars and financial disclosure forms; drafting Children Act 1989 applications; liaising with clients on the phone and attending court. I've also had the opportunity to be involved in the drafting of prenuptial and cohabitation agreements.
Business development is another key part of my day. I have attended networking events and seminars such as the White Paper launch as well as the recent YRes Children Law Update. Being involved in a support group for grandparents estranged from their grandchildren, through the charity Grandparents Plus, has been another diverse aspect of the role.
I find that I'm constantly learning and it's great to be a part of a supportive and friendly team. I'm very much looking forward to the next four months as a trainee in the department, building on my knowledge and experience so that I'm ready for the time that all trainees eagerly await - qualification.
Written by Natalie Marsden