I'm currently in my first seat with the Real Estate Team in Bristol and the work I've been doing has been made up of a mix of smaller matters that I've had the responsibility of running myself, as well as the chance to work with other lawyers on larger projects. Although having the responsibility of running these smaller matters can feel daunting, it's been a really good experience.
As well as carrying out the clients instructions, I am also responsible for managing the matter which involves everything from the risk and compliance procedures that go with setting up the file all the way through to billing the client and managing the financial considerations. It's been a great test of my organisation skills and I've gained a better understanding of how a file is run, as well as a great deal of client contact. The sorts of matters I've run have included: licences to alter, licences to underlet, deeds of covenant, and wayleave agreements.
Although I have an assigned supervisor with whom I speak regularly, trainees in the Real Estate seat can take work from any of the lawyers within the department. This has meant that I've had the chance to work with a range of people including colleagues from different offices. Real Estate is a really large team, so working in this way has been great for getting to know people from across the department, particularly whilst working from home. Everyone I've worked with has been really approachable and keen to get me involved in their work. I've assisted lawyers with post completion applications to the Land Registry, prepared lease reports, drafted deeds of easement, and more recently drafted a contract for sale and transfer for a commercial property.
In order to stay connected whilst working from home, the Real Estate team has been split into smaller groups, which hold regular video calls twice a week. Attending these call has been a great way to find out about some of the different areas of work that the team gets involved in.
Real Estate spans several of the industry sectors serviced by the firm. This means that the work available within the seat is really varied. I've worked on matters within the Retail & Consumer, Energy & Utilities, Tech, Media & Comms and Financial Services sectors. I've really enjoyed the variety of the work within the seat.
An average day for me largely consists of me managing my time independently to complete the work I've taken on, but can also include formal training sessions or client calls. In the afternoon each day I will either have a call with my supervisor, or with the wider team to catch up. This means that there's plenty of opportunity to ask questions and check anything I am unsure of. There is also a great variety of training sessions which I can attend including a regular knowledge sharing session the team's knowledge lawyers run, where different members of the team give a presentation on particular legal or commercial developments which are relevant to their work.
I know that a lot of people really don’t enjoy the land law module when studying at university, but don’t let this put you off doing a seat in Real Estate. I've found the transactional nature of the seat and the variety of work to be really interesting, especially given the high-levels of responsibility and the excellent team.