Residential property

Melissa Strachan

I can’t believe I’m approaching the end of the first year of my traineeship - where has the time gone!? It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was walking in on my first day, and now here I am less than 15 months away from qualifying as a solicitor. I can’t believe it!

Before starting with the firm, I knew that I would spend my first 6 months in the Commercial Property department. I was really looking forward to joining the team, given that this was an area of law which I had relatively little experience of. During this time I was involved in a wide range of work at different stages of commercial property transactions, which certainly put my conveyancing skills to the test. This was a great first seat and I very much enjoyed the fast-paced transactional nature of the work. Each day brought new challenges and responsibilities including working on my own transaction with the support of my mentor at the end of the seat. This was great experience.

At the beginning of my traineeship, I was told that just as you begin to find your feet, your six months are over and it’s time to move. They weren’t wrong! Before I knew it, it was time to start my second seat in Private Client.

I’m now half way through this seat and each day has brought new, challenging and rewarding tasks. No day is the same and I am thoroughly enjoying being part of the team. This seat has given me extensive drafting experience, with my work primarily focusing on the preparation of Wills and Powers of Attorney. I have also been involved in a wide range of other tasks such as dealing with administration of executries and trusts, and there is also often a ‘quirky’ task that lands on your desk! I really enjoy the people focused aspect of the work and meeting clients on a daily basis is one of my highlights.

Something that has been clear to me since day one is how welcoming and friendly everyone is. There is always someone to help answer your questions and pass on their knowledge. The social aspect of the firm is also great, whether this is a team night out, going to the EYP ball, joining one of the sports teams, attending networking events or going along to the end of the month staff drinks. I am also a member of the firm’s CSR committee and undoubtedly one of my highlights has been my ‘CSR’ day which I spent at Rossie Young Person’s Trust. There are many opportunities for everyone to get involved in and do their bit for charity.

I know every trainee says it but I feel like I must mention one of the most important tasks given to the first year trainees (aside from the roll run of course) - the Christmas party entertainment! Being on stage in a dressing gown was not something I anticipated when starting with the firm! The party was great fun and I can’t wait to sit back, relax and see what the new trainees do this year.

To sum up my time so far with Gillespie Macandrew in a few words is a very difficult task. I am thoroughly enjoying my time here and feel very lucky to have such a diverse traineeship with such a great firm. I certainly can’t wait to see what the next 15 months have in store!

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