Trainee profile - Paul Milford

Trainee profile - Paul Milford

Education: Cardiff University (LLB and LPC)

Departments: Real Estate, Commercial/Commercial Litigation, Corporate Finance Secondment, Commercial Litigation & Marine

Qualifying into: Commercial Litigation & Marine,Solent

I started my training contract in September 2010 with the Real Estate team in the Solent office. My first day set the tone of my Shoosmiths experience - I was introduced to the team and my supervisor and, his very first words were to me, as he pointed to my location for the next 6 months, was to describe it as "the seat of doom".. and laugh..luckily he said it with a smile and it was anything but a seat of doom! However, it provided a good insight into the nature, working atmosphere and characters that epitomise working at Shoosmiths. On day two I played with him in a football tournament!

The great thing about training here is that responsibility is given from day one and, within a short time, you are given files to manage and direct client contact. Yet, importantly, at all times you are comforted knowing that supervision is always there and guidance available from all members of the team as and when needed.

My second seat was a split between the commercial and commercial litigation teams - a split seat is beneficial in that it gives you a good insight into different areas and, additionally, is very good at developing your time management which is a very important skill.

I was then put forward for a secondment with an important corporate client and, after an interview, was offered the opportunity to work with them for 6 months. To work with a client and, importantly, see what is expected from a solicitor from their perspective was a great learning curve and a good way to build your own contacts outside the firm.

My favourite element of being a trainee at Shoosmiths is that, from an early stage, you are not treated as just a trainee but as an important member of the team who adds value to the team, and for clients.

Ultimately my training has provided a great balance of good quality work, high levels of responsibility and good, consistent levels of client contact. Additionally, it has been a great social experience with many a good event, glass of wine or two and fun along the way and I look forward to many more occasions once I qualify into the Commercial Litigation & Marine team.

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