It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, and most business and workplaces have had to adjust to new rules and restrictions all of which have now become the ‘new normal’. Some people are still working from home, while others are back in the workplace adhering to rules and regulations that did not exist nine months ago. There are now dividers between our desks, stickers on our floors and hand sanitiser dispensers on our walls.
Things have been incredibly challenging for trainee solicitors. Most have had to complete their studies online in a piecemeal and somewhat chaotic fashion, while also having to rapidly adjust to the ongoing changes to practical training in the workplace.
As a trainee solicitor, I have found that while the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way I am able to carry out certain tasks such the ability to meet clients face to face and attend court hearings, it is still vital that I am able to continue doing my job and delivering the best possible service to our clients even during a global pandemic.
As the next generation of solicitors, it is crucial that we are flexible and able to adapt to a new way of working, with an even heavier reliance on technology than ever before. While there is now less paperwork to complete, we are having to spend that time complying with stricter data protection rules in order to ensure that our clients’ confidential information is securely stored at all times.
These last few months have been an incredibly busy time for both the courts and law firms nationwide due to an influx of cases which are now being listed for urgent hearings following the effects of lockdown. I now attend more meetings in a day than I would have done in some weeks as everything can now be done via a remote platform, and this removes the need to travel long distances to and from meetings and court. I believe that the ability to attend a court hearing via Zoom has also made it possible for a greater array of clients, who had previously been disadvantaged by the need to travel to and from court, to be able to attend their own hearings simply by following a link on their mobile phones.
Although I have found myself saving time on travel, at times it does feel that there are simply not enough hours in the day to complete all the tasks that my Training Principal has set me. The influx of previously adjourned hearings as well as a wave of new cases has meant that I am now busier than ever. However, one of the most important lessons that I have learnt since becoming a trainee solicitor is that finding the time to stop, take a break and re-charge my batteries is just as important and we must not be afraid to ask for help from our colleagues when things get tough. Now more than ever we need to take care of ourselves and each other in the workplace.
For more information visit www.blmsolicitors.co.uk or call 01908 546580