Trainee Blog: Starts, middles, ends...
31st January 2012
How long does it take for people to get back to you? If you work in private client, I think the answer might be “several years”.
From time to time, I continue to get immigration referrals; either repeat business from existing clients who have forgotten that I have moved on or recommendations from former clients. I hand them over to my immigration colleagues, but I’m sometimes sorry to pass the really good ones on – particularly the easy to deal with, grateful ones. At the same time it reminds me of the impossible deadlines I would be dealing with were I still working there.
It isn’t that there are no deadlines here. There are, but they are just different, and not the sort that require the client to pick up the phone and start yelling at their lawyer, or the lawyer yelling at other people.
I had a conversation with a second year trainee this week and asked whether she felt she really learned anything during her six month stints. She agreed that while you can only scratch the surface during that time, she did learn even if she doesn’t see everything from start to finish.
As has been my experience, you see the start of something, the middle of a different matter and the end of something else, but never the complete transaction. Obviously, this will depend on what sort of law you are involved with, but the problem here is that, while people recognise the importance of making a will and make that initial push to get the ball rolling, it takes some considerable effort to complete the process because there is no urgency in doing so. I can’t even get my friends to respond to me on the subject. Having said that, with a bit of luck, I might actually see something I drafted signed by the end of the month.
I know I’ve talked about this before (and no doubt will again) but with the end approaching, it brings it all into focus. I seem to have a lot of balls in the air, along with ever more protracted dealings on matters that just don’t want to end. After one bout of continued and painful correspondence on one case, my supervisor said: “I hope it’s not going to be too much a blow for you when you move on.” I think he was rather hoping I would finish it before I left, so he wouldn’t have to.