Life As A First Seat Trainee Solicitor

Published on 3 May 2023

Before starting my seat in the Court of Protection (COP) Department here at Lanyon Bowdler, I had no idea what to expect due to it being such a niche area of law. All I knew is that the words “Trust” and “LPA” terrified me! Naively, my thoughts were that we would simply be managing money for people who had lost the mental capacity to be able to do so themselves. However, I quickly came to realise this certainly was not the case!

The personal nature of COP became apparent on my first day, when Lucy Speed welcomed me to the team and proudly informed me, in full detail, of the lives of her clients. I found it heart-warming that this department dealt with the same, on-going clients. I smiled at the pictures of them all on Lucy’s wall and found the relationship that the COP team has with its clients truly heart-warming.

For me, my career in law has always been highly focused and driven towards helping people, and making my work mean something to the community. Having worked in law firms before, but in areas that were tenacious and seemingly further removed from their clients, it was refreshing to work in a department that really gets involved with helping vulnerable people in their daily lives.  
Shortly after starting in COP, I accompanied Neil Davies to court and met with the counsel that we had instructed. From traveling to court where we discussed the details of the case, to the journey back, I really enjoyed the immersive, in depth experience attending the court hearing provided me with. It gave me an insight as to the emotive nature of COP cases and I loved the human element of the department.  

No two days are the same in COP which makes it an exciting place to work. My daily tasks include such things as talking with clients, arranging equipment deliveries, liaising with case management staff, assisting the deputy with financial decisions and a huge amount of note taking. 

Whilst COP wouldn’t have been on my list of preferred seats, simply because I didn’t really know what it was, my first seat in COP has made me appreciate the beauty of a training contract. It has taken me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to explore an area of law that I had never previously considered. 

The main lesson I will take away from COP, and the first seat in my training contract, is that we all rush to pass exams, get our first legal job, a training contract and then to qualify. However, over the period of just a couple of months I feel I have made long-lasting connections and learnt a great deal in COP and it has taught me to slow down, enjoy and absorb every day. 

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