Stage of traineeship: First year
Why did you choose Harper Macleod?
Harper Macleod appealed to me due to its quality and reputation as an award-winning, expanding, and successful Scottish law firm which has continued to achieve impressive growth through recent economically difficult years when other firms have struggled. More than this, however, HM attracted me due to its dynamic, vibrant profile. It is a firm which not only places great importance on the provision of quality legal services and a client-centred ethos, but also on pragmatism, personality, and involvement in the community as evidenced by the firm being sponsors of and legal advisers to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Also, it is a firm with a wide and varied spectrum of expertise, and so I was attracted to the varied opportunities in terms of seats and secondment opportunities which I would have as a trainee here. One of my main reasons as an applicant and prospective trainee for choosing HM however was the calibre of training the firm offers. The firm is committed to investment in its trainees, providing an excellent training programme as well as having a high retention rate and real progression opportunities, and so I was eager to become part of the HM team.
What does your working week involve?
I am currently working from the Inverness office, which offers a unique opportunity to experience and become involved in several areas of legal practice in the course of a single seat, such as banking, residential and commercial property, employment, crofting, and litigation. My working week is consequently quite varied, but will typically involve working on transactions on behalf of some of the UK’s largest financial institutions, meeting with clients, preparing legal documents, and liaising with other firms of solicitors. I am frequently also asked to undertake various research tasks to assist my colleagues in the handling of property transactions and Sheriff Court cases, for example.
HM attracted me due to its dynamic, vibrant profile. It is a firm which not only places great importance on the provision of quality legal services and a client-centred ethos, but also on pragmatism, personality, and involvement in the community as evidenced by the firm being sponsors of and legal advisers to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Lynsey Brown
What has been your best experience at Harper Macleod so far?
My best experience at Harper Macleod so far was the opportunity I was afforded in my first seat, debt recovery in the Glasgow Office, to be involved in the delivery of training sessions to one of the department’s largest Housing Association clients. Providing sessions both in-house and at the client’s offices, the HM team carried out demonstrations of hearings covering key legal issues pertinent to the client’s particular needs and common issues, provided advice on how to deal with frequent legal problems, and assisted the client in ways to improve case management and enhance prospects of success. This not only provided me with the chance to obtain direct client contact, but also provided me with practical experience of building rapport and relationships with important clients. This demonstrates how HM offers trainees the opportunity to become an important part of the team at an early stage and throughout the traineeship, and developed my confidence that I could contribute meaningfully to the firm.
Have you overcome any particular challenges during your traineeship?
Like many trainees, I was initially apprehensive about the prospect of appearing in court. However, my time with HM has helped me to overcome this particular challenge. Prior to my first scheduled appearance at Glasgow Sheriff Court I was afforded the opportunity to accompany 2nd year trainees to court to observe their appearances. I was therefore fully prepared before I attended court for the first time. I quickly became comfortable appearing before a Sheriff and much more confident in my advocacy skills than I had been when I arrived at the firm. Thanks to Harper Macleod’s training programme, I now enjoy this challenging aspect of legal practice.
Five words which describe Harper Macleod and its people: