Ever wondered what it is like to be a Teacher Stern trainee?
Meet Neha Solanki. Here is her ‘day in the life of’ account…
I am a second-year trainee currently in my third seat in the Employment and Immigration team. Here is my ‘day in the life of’ – each day in the department is different but here is an example of a ‘typical’ day.
My day starts at 9.30am and I usually start it off by making myself a cup of coffee and spending some time reviewing emails that have come in overnight. When I first joined the team, I signed up to receive daily employment law updates which I read most mornings to keep up-to-date with any interesting cases or relevant changes in Employment Law.
I then plan my day by creating a to-do list and updating my calendar. Being organised is really important as a trainee as it helps to manage your workload and prioritise key tasks.
My first task of the day is to prepare a letter of advice for an immigration client who is seeking to apply for a visa to enable them to work in the UK. The letter will set out all the requirements the client has to meet and how the client can evidence that they have satisfied them. I read through the Immigration Rules and accompanying guidance to assist with putting together the advice and look over the file to review information the client has sent in, so I can ensure the advice is tailored to their specific circumstances.
I am then asked by a partner in the Employment Team to accompany them to a client meeting and take an attendance note. The partner will be advising a client on a potential harassment claim they are seeking to bring against their employer. Attending client meetings is a great way to understand what the client’s needs are and develop an understanding of the relevant law from the technical/commercial advice given by our firm.
I then return to my desk and type up the attendance note. It is important that these notes are as succinct and accurate as possible as they may be referred to in the future and will also outline any action points going forward.
I head to a meeting room for lunch as the Employment team are having one of their fortnightly lunchtime education updates at which a few members of the team will volunteer to share an interesting case update with the rest of the team. I present on a recent case where a landmark ruling was made determining that ethical veganism is a protected characteristic for the purpose of the Equality Act. This is a great way to practice my presentation skills, broaden my knowledge of the law and engage in interesting discussions with my colleagues. Of course, one of the other perks of these sessions is that you also get a delicious lunch!
After lunch, I am asked to assist with a research task in relation to employer’s obligations concerning annual leave of pregnant employees who are due to commence maternity leave. I review some books and practice notes online and then draft an email to my colleague setting out my findings.
I spend the remainder of my afternoon drafting a without prejudice letter to a client’s ex-employer in response to allegations of breach of restrictive covenants. This task requires some significant research into restrictive covenants and case law to determine the validity and enforceability of such covenants. I send the draft letter to my supervisor to review and provide comments as well as assist with any questions I have.
I update my to-do list for the next morning before heading out of the door to catch up with some friends over dinner.