Written by Harry Coombe - Trainee Solicitor
Harry is a third seat Trainee Solicitor currently sitting in our Residential Property Team. In this blog we hear from him about what you could expect on an average day as a trainee Conveyancer:
I arrive at the office, log in to my computer and check my emails for anything that has come in since the previous day. Inevitably, in a busy area such as property, there will be 3 or 4 emails that will need to be addressed straight away. I review what other tasks I have on my desk and in my inbox and prioritise the work I need to get done today. I also have a quick catch up with my colleagues about their weekend and I am at my desk ready to work for 9:00am.
I am told by one of the secretaries that they have booked in a client to come and see me this morning. I am helping to cover a colleague’s workload that is on leave this week so I am unfamiliar with the file and the advice the client needs. I am told she wants some advise on the covenants contained in the title documents so I spend the next hour familiarising myself with the file and the issues the client needs advice on. It’s usual to be expected to look at documents and advise clients on them the same day.
The client arrives for the meeting and I feel prepared, having allowed myself the time to review the issues. The client wants advice as the title contains some rather specific covenants preventing her from doing certain things on the property. I go through the covenants with the client in detail and provide the appropriate advice as to what they restrict her from doing. A classic example of restrictions could include not keeping pigs or poultry on the property, or using the property as anything other than a dwelling house. She also asks me a question relating to visibility splays that I need to research and discuss with my supervisor before I can advise her on this. I tell the client I will research the point and phone her later today to discuss the issue.
I return to my desk to some voice messages and further emails (if I have learnt one thing in this department it is that you need to be organised and good with your time management in order to stay in control!). I reply to the urgent emails and then return to my task list to see what I have prioritised to get done today.
I note that I have an exchange of contracts to complete today so I phone the client to ensure I have their authority to do so as once contracts are exchanged the transaction becomes legally binding. The client provides me with their authority and I review the file once more to ensure we are in a position to exchange. I contact the solicitor on the other side to exchange contracts and let the client know the good news.
I have an email from the accounts team to tell me we have received in monies on a completion for one of our sale files. I phone the client and tell inform them that their property has now been sold and go about transferring the funds both back to the client and to their lender to redeem their mortgage.
I break for lunch and meet with a couple of the other trainees. We have all recently moved seats on the 1 October so it is nice to catch up and find out how they are all getting on in their new departments.
I return from lunch and undertake the research on visibility splays that I told the client I would undertake today. I research the position and discuss this with my supervisor. I can then phone the client to inform her of the implications this could have on her purchase.
I meet with my supervisor to have my monthly trainee review. As trainees, we are under close supervision by one of the partners or a senior member of staff and they are always on hand to discuss any issues or provide us with any guidance. We also have a general catch up about how I feel about the seat and any subjects I may want to experience between now and my next review.
I return to my task list of priorities that I created this morning and continue working through the list. As so much can change day to day in a residential transaction and you are reliant on things such as replies from the other side and mortgage offers, you need to remain flexible with your work tasks.
I finish work and head to a networking event with a few other trainees and one of the partners. Tonight it is a conkers event in Exeter and, as Dunn & Baker won this event last year, we are all looking forward to defending the crown! Spoiler alert: we lost in the semi finals.
I finally get home after another busy but rewarding day as a trainee solicitor.
For more information on the route available to become a Residential Conveyancer, visit https://www.ucas.com/ucas/after-gcses/find-career-ideas/explore-jobs/job-profile/licensed-conveyancer