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Trainee talk… Helena Bond

Helena Bond, trainee solicitor, is approaching the halfway point in her training contract. She talks us through a typical week as a trainee in the private client team.

Tell us about your background

I’ve wanted to be a solicitor since I was about 10 years old. My mum used to say I was too honest and should be a solicitor, so I tried it out – and loved it!

I’ve studied law since A-Level and really enjoy the diversity of each area. I’ve always been drawn to private practice areas rather than commercial, as I like the interaction you have with clients from all walks of life.

What’s a typical day for you?

In private client there is no typical day. We’re always getting unusual requests for Wills, or receiving someone’s belongings through the post.

Generally my day is spent meeting clients, drafting Wills, researching unusual points of law and opening files. Although the other day my time was spent looking through a suitcase for a mobility scooter charger!

What matters are you dealing with currently?

At the moment I have the opportunity to experience all aspects of private client, so I assist with Will drafting, preparing papers to apply for grants of probate, estate administration and the management of Trusts.

The variety of work means I’m getting the most out of my seat and I’m learning new skills.

How much interaction do you have with clients?

Private client involves a lot of client interaction – there isn’t a day goes by that I don’t see at least one client. My background is in personal injury and medical negligence, and I’ve never seen as many clients as I have done in my private client seat.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Meeting clients and helping them through a difficult time. Clients generally come to us with a problem or query, and I enjoy being able to solve it whilst also giving them peace of mind. However I think that applies to all departments at Barcan+Kirby – not just private client.

I also love the fact that no case is the same, nor is any day, which keeps me on my toes and means I’m continually learning.

What’s the toughest part of your job?

The toughest part is not getting too emotionally invested with clients. You meet them at one of the most difficult and upsetting times in their lives and it’s easy to get caught up in the emotion. Staying empathetic but still using our knowledge of the law to work in their best interests and remain impartial is a real skill.

Favourite thing about working for the firm?

For me it’s the people and the work-life balance. Moving around departments gives me the opportunity to interact with all members of staff and everyone is friendly and approachable – it makes coming to work everyday so much more enjoyable.

Everyone supports each other here and as a trainee that’s just what you want. I never feel afraid to ask someone for help if I need it, and I’m always given the opportunity to take on new tasks and challenges if I ask for them.

The work-life balance is perfect for my lifestyle. I’ve made some great friends here, who I can always meet up with outside of work. Socialising isn’t forced at Barcan+Kirby but naturally happens as friendships form.


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