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I like to start my mornings early with some exercise. I usually go to the gym but thought I would take a quick run along the South Bank instead and admire the beauty of London.
Once I’m home, I make sure to have breakfast away from my desk whilst listening to a news podcast. Working from home can often make it feel like you can’t escape the work environment so creating a clear separation from my work station has been important for me!
Time to log on. I read through my emails to see what has come in overnight and begin writing my to-do list for the day. One thing I have learnt since starting my training contract is that your to-do list will never look the same as it does when you first start off your day – tasks are constantly evolving and priorities will change throughout the day. One of the main challenges as a trainee is prioritising and managing your deadlines.
I am currently in my first seat in the Financial Services Regulation team. This seat involves a lot of advisory work and research around the main source of regulatory rules and guidance such as the FCA Handbook (which I review almost daily!).
My first task is to finalise an advice note I worked on yesterday on the requirements and application process to become an insurance firm in the UK for a client based in the Netherlands. I send this over to my supervisor before the first meeting of the morning.
Time for the fortnightly Financial Services Regulation partners' meeting where I’ll hear about what everyone in the team has been busy working on. These calls are a great opportunity for me to learn more about the variety of work across the team and volunteer to get involved.
Since starting my training contract, the firm and my team have been incredibly supportive and regular team meetings like these have helped me to settle into the department.
The firm has enrolled trainees across all offices onto a resilience training programme. Today’s topic is about setting yourself up for peak productivity and elite performance. These sessions have provided me with a greater awareness of my skills and development beyond legal knowledge. Identifying when I work best and how to manage workload has been especially useful when adjusting to working at home.
I receive an email from an associate in my team with a task to prepare and draft some documentation for a consumer credit firm. I’m not familiar with the FCA requirements for consumer credit lending so I spend some time gaining a better understanding of the task by reading the FCA Handbook. I then begin drafting policies and schedule a Teams meeting to talk through my work to check my understanding. I’ve been given a lot of responsibility, particularly given I’m in my first seat, and this has helped me grasp the technical side of financial regulation and develop my analytical ability.
After quite a busy morning, it’s time for lunch. I head out to go buy something tasty and enjoy my lunch in a nearby park since the sun is shining.
I return to my desk and review the next thing on my to-do list which is a research task. The research concerns the future of the Financial Services sector with a focus on the topic of Open Banking and Open Finance. The research will be used for a panel webinar that a partner in my team will be attending. As a trainee, it’s important to be involved in business development to understand how each department can market itself to potential clients, whilst also understanding how law firms operate as a business.
I receive a video call from my supervisor regarding a corporate transaction where we will be supporting the Manchester Corporate team. My task is to review various documents contained in a data room and flag potential concerns from a financial regulatory perspective in our client’s legal due diligence report. With the firm and the wider world getting used to working remotely, one of the benefits is the ability to work seamlessly regardless of location. As a trainee, I have benefitted from this by being able to collaborate with teams across TLT’s offices, as well as gaining exposure to diverse areas of work.
I usually go into the office once a week, so I co-ordinate with another trainee to work in the office in a few days’ time. I then review my to-do list to make sure I’ve dealt with every urgent task and deal with any outstanding admin.
It’s now time to log off and call it a day. I like to unwind and enjoy my evenings after work with a good book and also enjoy spending time cooking dinner with my friends. Not needing to commute to and from the office everyday whilst working from home has saved me a lot of valuable time which I can now spend doing the things I enjoy the most!
Dixson Lee is a first seat trainee solicitor for TLT, currently in the Financial Services Regulation team. Dixson is based in the London office.
16 September 2021