Trainee Investment Manager, Laura Knox and Newly Qualified Solicitor, Caroline McMillan, discuss the benefits of a traineeship at the Turcan Connell Group.
Caroline: "So, I joined Turcan Connell as a trainee solicitor in October 2011, having completed my degree at the University of Aberdeen. I then completed the two-year traineeship here and qualified as an assistant solicitor in October 2013, specialising in tax, succession and trusts.
I was particularly interested in the area I qualified into because of the wide variety of the work that the specialism offers. The traditional elements of tax and succession work involved things like advising on wills and creating trusts and executary administration and obtaining probate. However, at a market-leading firm like Turcan Connell, the work is much more broader than that.
So since I qualified as an assistant solicitor, I've been able to get involved in a whole range of tax planning, so I've been able to advise different kinds of individuals and families on how best to protect their interests and their assets, and I would say that one of the best things about qualifying as an assistant solicitor is that you really get a chance to spend a bit more time with the clients and get to know them. Because you don't move around departments like you do when you're a trainee, it gives you the opportunity to really get to know the kind of technical specialisms you need to give the clients advice on."
Laura: "So, like Caroline, I started my traineeship in 2011. Prior to that, I studied law at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. I then completed my diploma in Legal Practice at Glasgow Graduate School of Law.
I was initially attracted to Turcan Connell because I liked the idea of working with individuals and with families as opposed to with large corporations, so I liked the variety of work offered at Turcan Connell.
I wasn't sure which area I wanted to specialise in initially, so it was really important to me to get a breallyroad traineeship and to, sort of, test out as many different areas of the law as I could prior to deciding which area to specialise in. So, I actually had a very, very varied traineeship here. I stared in Family Law, then I did a seat in Tax and Trust, Land and Property and then, eventually, I did a seat in Asset Management at Turcan Connell Asset Management, and I eventually decided to specialise in investment management here at the firm."
Caroline: "For me, the biggest difference having qualified as an assistant solicitor is that you get a chance to be involved in a much broader variety of work, so because you don't move departments like you do when you're a trainee, you get to see work through from start to finish. One of the aspects of that is, obviously, you have a lot more responsibility for the work you're involved with."
Laura: "I qualified as a solicitor in October 2013. I spent the last six months of my traineeship in Investment Management, so it's been quite nice to transition to a permanent role in the Investment Management division and, since then, I have been working as a trainee Investment Manager. So, I really am still a trainee, just in a different capacity. I look forward to hopefully qualifying as an Investment Manager in a couple of years' time.
Caroline: "Shortly after I qualified as an assistant solicitor, I became a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, having completed the diploma in Trusts and Estates. Those are probably the most recognised exams you can do in the kind of area of work I specialise in. So, I think now, going forward, obviously the change from becoming a qualified solicitor, compared to when you were a trainee, is that the onus is on you to continue your professional development. So, the firm has supported me through the exams I've already done and I think I'll continue to look out for other things in the future, which would help me to become more specialised in a particular area of tax and succession work, and hopefully I'll be able to progress through the firm, progressing from trainee to partner, perhaps, in the future."
Laura: "As part of my Investment traineeship, I'm doing the CFA qualification, that's Chartered Financial Analyst, which Turcan Connell Asset Management are supporting me through. As I progress through my exams, I hope to qualify as an Investment Manager and hopefully achieve my charter one day."
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