Particulars, Backgrounds and Books.


I woke up this morning and the first thing I hear on the itv news is that people are more likely to divorce their partner than change their banks, which is somewhat worrying. After listening to a ten-minute segment about how members of the public worry about changing their banks, I turned off and left for work.

My day at Stowe Family Law LLP began with perusal of a number of client files to ensure that I am up to speed and ready to work on them later in the week. You can’t do enough research on a client file as a trainee; in fact you can’t do enough research full stop. Never be afraid to ask questions, as one of the solicitors told me on my first day: ‘there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers’.

Next I am given a particulars of claim to amend with the tiniest writing anyone has ever seen detailing what needs amending.  An ability to decipher obscure handwriting is a good skill to have; in all seriousness though it is a great opportunity to put my drafting skills, learned on my Legal Practice Course, to good use. For those only part way through or just beginning the Legal Practice Course a particulars of claim is a concise statement of facts upon which the claimant intends to rely and, for those of you wishing to know more, it is covered by Part 7, Rule 7.4 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

Following this I get tasked with re-organising part of the Stowe Family Law LLP library. Now this may sound a little odd but as the law progresses texts become out dated and in order for a law firm to keep up to date they need to periodically update their library. Hershman and McFarlane’s Children Law and Practice has recently produced its 65th updating issues in just 22 years, it just shows you how quickly the law advances.

To finish my day I am given a copy of a brief to counsel in another case, along with further case documentation and asked to write the background to the case that will eventually form the position statement. I read through the case documents and write a draft background which I proof read once I had finished.

All in all a good day, some tasks a little more exciting than others but as a trainee you have to do a little bit of everything, and hope that in doing so you not only prove yourself to your new employer but also learn enough to make your way successfully through your training contract and in to the rest of your legal career.

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