I trained at legacy Piper Smith Watton (which became part of Blake Morgan in August 2015). During my training contract I did seats in Property (Real Estate), Family, Private Client and Corporate and Commercial.
I started my training contract with quite a clear view of which department I wanted to practice in once qualified: Family. This idea came from what I studied and liked at University, then at Law School and was compounded by my prior experience working as a Paralegal. However, gaining experience in other practice areas during my training contract opened my eyes to other ways of working. At the end of my training contract I received NQ job offers from 3 out of the 4 departments I had trained with.
I decided to qualify into the Corporate and Commercial Department. In my view, this sort of work suited my personality far better where logical, business decisions tend to be made and, in the majority of my transactions, the parties all work together to get the deal done (whilst protecting the client's interests, of course). This was a big contrast from my experience in the Family Department where I found emotions influence many client decisions.
I have been at the firm over 11 years and worked my way up to being a Senior Associate. Now I am working my way up to becoming a Partner in the next few years.
Learning from my experience, I always suggest to Trainees at the beginning of their training contracts that they start with some idea of what sort of work they might want to do on qualification because that idea should influence the seats they apply for in due course. However, trainees should also keep an open mind about other areas of law and disciplines which they might not have considered and which might also suit them/their way of working better.
One fun fact: I enjoy singing and have been a backing singer for Russell Watson.