Before I started working as a trainee solicitor I imagined that my days would go something like this:
6.45am – Alarm goes off. I jump out of bed. I feel great. Fresh. Alive. Pumped. 6.55am – I prepare and eat a nutritious breakfast. I take my time. I’m relaxed. I’m totally excited about the day ahead. 7.15am – I shower. I like to sing in the shower. So I do. 7.45am – I find myself waiting to get on the tube to work. Everyone’s smiling and I get a seat. There are no delays. There is no smell of urine and every part of my commute goes swimmingly. Like clockwork. 8.15 am – I arrive in the office. My secretary loves me. We high-five each other. I rock. She rocks. We both rock. We’re all one big family here and my colleagues could not be more supportive. 8.40am – I open my inbox. A client writes to tell me that my letter before action was a masterpiece. She can’t thank me enough. 8.45am – I review some evidence. I find something that proves our client’s case beyond all reasonable doubt. The other side cave in and the managing partner pats me on the back. The managing partner knows what I’ve done. He knows my name. In fact, he tells me to book a spa weekend on the firm. So I do. I won’t be working over the weekend any time soon. I know it. He knows it. 9am – My supervising partner tells me that he doesn’t know what he would do without me. He asks if I want one lump of sugar or two in my coffee. I tell him that I’d like one lump and an almond croissant, lightly toasted. He should know how to work the office toaster. He’s had enough non-chargeable practice. 10.02am – I stare at a contract. It stares back. 10.35am – I propose some amendments. My client loves them and my opponent is too dumb to understand grasp their impact. It’s like stealing candy warranties from a baby. It’s too easy. I’m not breaking a sweat. Actually, I’m not even thinking that hard. 11.00am – My opponent calls to discuss the proposed amendments. I dazzle him with my contractual charm and the whole thing is wrapped up by lunchtime. He has no idea what he has done. And I needn’t worry about printing off copies and getting everything signed. That’s what paralegals are for. Right? 1pm – I sit down for a nice long lunch. I have a great view of London and everyone laughs at my witty anecdotes. I’m hilarious. Glasses are clinked and everyone cheers. Heck, the client is paying and everyone just wants me to be happy. Some firms think paying you is payment enough. Not this firm. Not these clients. My happiness is paramount. 4pm – I stumble back into the office. Everyone cheers. I hear a whoop and a whey hey! I love the enthusiasm. The dynamism. It’s just want the trainee recruitment brochure promised. 5pm – The New York office calls. They want me to give a talk about adding value. In person. And the legal press wants a quote on how I ruddy well do it. I’m amazing. I know it. My firm knows it. The legal press knows it. 6pm – I skip off home. Not a minute later. I go to a yoga class. I meet a friend for dinner. I can’t wait for tomorrow. I sleep like a legal log.
In reality, though, my days as a trainee solicitor tend to go something like this. Strike an eggy pose.