Working and Learning Remotely

While applying for training contracts you’re often asked what new challenges will law firms face in the future. For the most part, in recent times, this would have incited a discussion concerning Brexit and the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union. Less likely to be considered are the ramifications of a pandemic on the legal sector and the country as a whole.

As a trainee with Lanyon Bowdler, I had just started my second seat with the personal injury department when restrictions in the United Kingdom were yet to be put in place. I, like many of the other trainees, had only just begun to settle into my new role within the department.

At an early stage, Lanyon Bowdler started taking steps to actively manage the ever evolving situation, both in terms of meeting the needs of its clients and of its employees. I happened to be in the position where I was both an employee and a client of the firm; having only just recently completed on my property purchase.

A client’s perspective

From a client perspective, this included the residential property department liaising with me throughout the process, updating me as to any issues that might arise and generally assisting with my concerns. Whether this was regarding the effect this situation might have on exchange of contracts and completion, or just the normal everyday concerns.

A trainee’s perspective

Within my own department, the thing I noticed most, was despite the fact each individual had their own matters and concerns everyone took time to ensure that others could meet the changing demands of the situation. The firm as a whole has also come together with individuals taking on roles and assisting wherever they can, even if this is just by lending someone a spare laptop that can be used to work remotely or stopping to listen to another colleague’s concerns. My team has taken every step to ensure that my experience within the seat and my training contract will not be hampered and that I am still able to carry out my role effectively; albeit in a very different way.

The legal sector will take time as a whole to adapt to this situation, with everyone working remotely (including the courts). We may see changes to the way we would witness a Will, with e-signatures and video-witnessing being contemplated; although, there is no confirmation that this would be accepted so far. In personal injury, we have already seen a dramatic shift to remote access to the courts and greater cooperation between defendant and claimant lawyers who understand the need to maintain continuity and mitigate the effects of these unprecedented circumstances.

These are difficult times for everyone, the way we go about our lives has changed drastically with little time to adjust. The ability of the people of Lanyon Bowdler to maintain a degree of normality and to continue to perform exceptionally at times like this, is how I know I’ve chosen the right firm to undertake my training contract with.

If you are interested in applying for a training contract with Lanyon Bowdler, please visit the training contracts page for more information.