Contact us
Hunters Law LLP
9 New Square
Lincoln’s Inn
London WC2A 3QN
Hunters Law
6th November 2023

My first month as a new trainee

My first month as a new trainee
Lydia Chapman
Lydia Chapman
Trainee Solicitor

On 21 November 2022, I received my training contract offer from Hunters. Now, just under a year later, I have finished my first month at the firm as a first-year trainee - currently working with the Business Services, Dispute Resolution and Charity departments. 

My experience of firm culture as a new starter 

From the outset I have been encouraged to get involved in all aspects of the firm and one of the activities that Hunters is really enthusiastic about is providing opportunities to share ideas, insights and reflections on our practice by writing articles. 

I think that is what has struck me most in my first month of working at Hunters, that there really is a culture of collaboration and development across the firm. It feels like the firm is in a period of growth and I am really excited to be a part of it. 

Even the office layout encourages quick consultations with colleagues to support collaboration. I sit in a room that looks out over the beautiful New Square with two partners, one of the departmental consultants, and our litigation paralegal. 

As one of the partners quipped earlier this week, collectively our room is coming up on 100 years of legal experience (I make it 87.5 - and still very impressive given I only can add six months to the total). 

Listening to how my colleagues interact with clients, observing the way they conduct client matters and consult as a team has been invaluable. With the way the office is set up, having access to practitioners with all levels of experience, who are happy to answer questions, has made it really easy to feel confident in my work.

My work so far

I have been able to get involved with matters really quickly and have very much enjoyed being able to hit the ground running. It has definitely been a challenge at times but one I am really enjoying; I am often tasked with researching or drafting on an area that is totally new to me, but the benefit of being the only trainee in the department is that I have been able to work on a variety of matters and areas already. 

In addition, outside my current seat, I have also been encouraged to attend events or training run by all different departments at the firm and to take every opportunity to network and meet other professionals. Every single person who has asked me how I am settling in has made it clear that the firm very much operates an open-door policy.

Training and development 

While I have definitely come close to being the exception to the ‘there are no stupid questions’ rule, I have been consistently reminded by my trainee buddies that this is the time to ask questions and to clarify when I am unsure of anything. 

It is clear that to Hunters, being a good lawyer is so much more than just having the right answers, it is also important how you approach questions. 

Since I have been here the firm has put on: 

  • Training on unconscious bias in the workplace and our obligations for safeguarding and supporting vulnerable clients
  • Two events by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee, one being an incredible talk by Barbara Mills KC, Vice Chair of the Bar Council; and 
  • One Difficult Conversations seminar, part of a series that encourages grappling with some of the sensitive topics that our firm handles on a daily basis. 

While I haven’t quite figured out my way around the office yet, I have definitely found the onboarding process easy to navigate. 

It is clear from the volume of inductions and training I have had access to that the firm values getting into rhythms of good practice early. The majority of fee earners have been here for a significant part of their career and it is already evident that Hunters really values its team. 

Everyone is very generous with their time and it feels like they are genuinely happy to help. My experience so far is that the culture is central to how the firm approaches relationships with the clients, it feels like the priority is consistently investing time in people and supporting them long term in order that there is the greatest chance of success.