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Day in the life of an Express Trainee

Grace Rainey is a Trainee Solicitor in the Occupiers’ & Liability Department.

Grace works alongside Daniel Slade, Chief Executive Officer (Legal) and Katryn Mercer, Senior Associate Solicitor Advocate at Express.

Grace is currently studying for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam and is on route to becoming a qualified Solicitor.

I have been working at Express Solicitors for just over a year, and I am in the first year of studying for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). As a trainee solicitor there is no true ‘typical’ day as every day is different and brings new challenges. The great thing about Express is you are given the opportunity to work on multiple cases at the same time, all at various points in the litigation process. This keeps things interesting, but also means that you must be able to adapt and respond pragmatically to changing and occasionally challenging situations.

I am fortunate to work alongside Daniel Slade, Chief Executive Officer (Legal) and Katryn Mercer, Senior Associate Solicitor Advocate, assisting them on complex, high-value claims. This exposure has provided me with the opportunity to develop a considered and strategic understanding of case progression. Being ‘behind the scenes’ and witnessing their tactical understanding and decision-making processes has been invaluable. All of these experiences ensure that no two days are ever the same.

My working day starts at 8.30am and tends to begin (after coffee!) by reviewing what tasks I must complete that day, as well as checking whether I am scheduled in any conferences or client calls. If a case is close to limitation or subject to any court deadlines, these cases and tasks are dealt with first as a priority. Handling multiple tasks and deadlines, often each with their own multifaceted issues can be challenging, therefore it is important to have a clear action plan in place. Typical tasks can range from issuing a case at court, serving papers on a defendant, drafting applications, or drafting witness statements in support of the applications.

Other less urgent tasks throughout the morning can include reviewing medical records or instructing medical experts to report on the clients’ injuries. Tasks such as these are vital in building and strengthening the client’s case.

Afternoons can consist of conferences with counsel and experts to advise on the progression of cases. Conferences such as this are always very interesting, as they often bring together all the evidence we have obtained so far and build the structure of the case. It puts into perspective all the work done on the case so far, which can be extremely rewarding. During the conferences, the required next steps are also discussed so the progression of the case is ensured and prioritised.

At Express, client care is imperative and at the heart of everything we do, meaning I often find myself speaking to multiple clients each day.  Often, the litigation process for clients can be confusing and stressful as it is likely the first time a client has contacted a law firm, coupled with the often severe and potentially life changing injuries they have suffered. It is important to keep clients updated with the progress of their claim and explain the process of bringing a personal injury claim in a way that they can understand, taking an individual approach to build their trust and a rapport while also always pushing for success and progress.

The last hour or so of the day is often reserved for admin jobs, such as responding to non-urgent emails, arranging meetings or conferences, and chasing any outstanding documents. I usually also look at my diary for the next day and see if there are any tasks that I can pre-emptively prepare for so that I am as organised as possible.