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Starting a training contract during a pandemic

Posted on 23rd February, 2021

Starting a new job, in these strange times, can seem a difficult and daunting prospect. The pandemic delayed the start of my training contract by a few months, however, when Jacksons informed me that I was to start on the first working day of January, this year, I was excited and relieved to just be able to get on with it.

Then came the announcement of yet another lockdown, certainly not the news I or anyone was wanting to hear, but the team at Jacksons were determined to get me and another trainee solicitor, Ellie Straughan started and thankfully we have been able to get it underway this time – albeit under unusual circumstances! After having made the initial trip to the office to collect all the essentials such as laptops, monitors and not to mention a personal favourite of mine … the Jacksons’ water bottle which practically never leaves my side, I returned home to set everything up knowing that my bedroom would likely be my office for the next few months.

Now my training contract was underway!  At first it did seem quite surreal to be working from home straight away and natural worries crossed my mind such as “do I know what I am doing” and “how do I get some help”, but I quickly realised that help was never that far away and actually I should at least give myself a bit of credit, I did in fact know what I was doing! In all seriousness though, everybody at Jacksons has been so welcoming and helpful, especially in the litigation team where I have started my training. I have to mention Toby Joel specifically, as I do feel as though I am constantly bothering him with questions and emails, but he is always on hand to advise and answer any of my questions.

I do massively look forward to getting into the office and meeting all the staff in person.  I am quite a sociable person so being at home at the minute with pretty limited social interaction is taking its toll. It will be great to get into the office and get to know everybody. On a separate note, I think it will likely help me in getting jobs done quicker as I can go and ask a quick question in person rather than sending emails and waiting on a reply. Hopefully, this will become a reality in the not so distant future and we at least can get a return to some kind of normality.

Richard Knaggs, Trainee Solicitor

Covid-19 has caused many setbacks in more ways than one however, it did not stop me from starting my training contract at Jacksons. I am very thankful for this opportunity. Working at a new law firm, taking on a new job role, with the added extra of working from home was initially quite a daunting thought however,  the staff at Jacksons  made me feel at ease from the moment I started.

From my first day at Jacksons, on the 4th of January 2021, I was provided with all of the equipment I needed to enable me to work from home efficiently. I was provided with online induction courses, virtual training by staff at the firm and I have full connectivity to all of the software used by Jacksons to deal with client’s cases effectively. I have always been provided with support from many staff at the firm and I know they are just a quick phone call away.

As we are all home working, the partners and other team members at Jacksons do their upmost to keep us all connected and in contact with one another. I have taken part in a virtual ‘catch up with a bacon sandwich’ before starting work for the day, regular video meetings with the other trainees and a fortnightly communications meeting with the whole of the firm. These little catch ups are essential, and I have always been made to feel included and part of the team from the offset.

Hopefully, this is the home straight now and we can all get back into the office in the very near future. I am most looking forward to getting into the office and meeting other staff in person. It will be great to sit down at my desk, surrounded by my fellow staff, ready to start the working day at Jacksons.

Ellie Straughan, Trainee Solicitor


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