Today has been a busy day at Stowe Family Law LLP. I have spent the day flitting between cases and picking up jobs. However, I have decided to write today’s blog post on the requirements of the training contract as a whole. I took a few minutes with my supervisor today to review stowe family law training contracts and iron out where we go from here. Whilst I have only just begun my training contract I find it good practice to have everything set up in advance, so that you know you have everything covered.
The SRA require your actual contract to be signed within three months of starting your training contract. You then have 28 days from the signing of the contract to register it with the SRA. This is extremely important as failure to register with the SRA can render the period you have already worked void and could delay your admission to the roll at the end of your training contract. The SRA will then send you a letter confirming your registration.
With the formalities of the contract out of the way the discussion turned to seats. The SRA specify that a trainee is to complete seats within at least three different areas of English Law. Although the SRA do not specify how long you have to spend in each seat, they do advise that at least 3 months is appropriate. I have family law covered, but what about the other two seats? Stowe Family Law LLP are extremely helpful in this regard and will be setting two further seats up for me either within the office or at a firm close by. The other possibility to all those gaining experience prior to beginning their training contract is the counting of previous experience option. This is where experience gained within the three years immediately prior to your training contract can count toward your training contract. So for instance if you have one years’ experience as a paralegal in criminal law this could count toward you training contract period with a reduction of 6 months (half the period of experience) from your training contract.
Next we covered the Professional Skills Courses. Don’t think that because you have finished your LPC that is you done at University. During your training contract you have to complete the PSC. The PSC is made up of core modules including Advocacy and Communication; Client Care & Professional Standards; Financial and Business Skills Course; and the PSC electives. This course needs to be booked with a qualified institution and time off needs arranging with your law firm.
Finally we discuss my training contract record and performance reviews. Every trainee has to complete a training contract record which details the work you carry out, the skills you gain and what you have learnt. It is important to keep your training contract record update as the SRA can review it at any time. Finally my supervisor and I set a date for a monthly performance review, in which we can sit down and talk about how the training contract is going and what I need to do to go forward.
There are a couple of areas that we didn’t cover in our chat this afternoon but those areas are pretty self-explanatory, such as the nine skill standards that I must cover during my time at Stowe Family Law LLP and the fact that I have a duty to report to the SRA any matters that may affect my suitability to be admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales.
It is great to have the support I need at Stowe Family Law LLP and to be trusted to perform some of the tasks I have already completed. I have been thrown in at the deep end, but as they say that is the best way to learn how to swim, and I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge.
If you’re interested in finding out more about training contracts in general visit: http://www.sra.org.uk/students/training-contract.page