The first month or so or working for the Council has been an odd. I was used to working from home to complete the LPC, and to do that I had to be independent and self-disciplined, but trying to settle and learn about new systems from home was a different challenge. I have been very lucky in that the team I am working in is very friendly and I’ve had multiple welcoming colleagues who have made it easy to turn to.
The weeks are flying by, which can only be a good sign in a new job, and I have plenty to do to keep me busy. Something which came apparent from the beginning was how much work goes in behind the scenes to really ensure the best for the people of Gwynedd. Personally, I hadn’t realised how much was discussed, and the policies which are being written as a response to the concerns of the people.
I have had the chance to draft s.106 agreements, look at lawful use certificates and sit in multiple committees. The work I’ve completed, and the research I’ve conducted has been varied and interesting. As a trainee in the local government in comparison to private practice I feel I get much for of a variation in the type of work covered.
In terms of my own personal development, over the next two years I will be completing the Professional Skills Course through the University of Law. These will be online due to the pandemic. After successful completion of this course, and the two years training contract I will then be a qualified solicitor. Last week I completed my first module on the course which was in Advocacy and Communication Skills.
The course was intense with a lot of preparation work. Despite being quite comfortable public speaking after my time as a teacher, this course pushed me out of my comfort zone. I had to prepare interim applications to put in front of a Judge without much preparation time, Building on things I had learnt during my LPC. On the final day of the course, we conducted a trial from start to finish. Each delegate had to play a particular part. I was conducting the Pre-trial review, cross-examination of a witness on behalf of the defence, and acting as a witness being cross-examined by the claimants.
Despite my nerves, and all the preparation work I had to complete, it was a great experience. Hopefully there will be an opportunity to observe and practice these skills at some point over the next couple of years in the more contentious seats.
I will be moving to a different department after Christmas, and so want to make the most of the time I have to learn as much as possible where I am now.