Graham Dunn, associate

Graham studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Queen’s University, Belfast. He started his training contract in March 2015 after completing the LPC. Graham is now an associate working in one of our Financing groups.

Day-to-day

“A trainee will be involved in a number of different transactions at any one time, which provides a varied and steady stream of work. We are continually updated and made aware of the timetable for particular transactions and the deadlines for specific tasks. Trainees are given a high degree of autonomy in terms of managing their daily schedule and workload, which means that generally I can plan my working day (and to an extent, my working week) accordingly.”

To – do list

“A typical day as a trainee will involve varying degrees of legal and commercial research, coupled with a range of practice management and administrative tasks, which assist more senior members of transaction teams. I often spend time listening (and, when required, taking notes) on conference calls, and attending meetings with my supervisor. Recently, I have been working on a major project in the renewable energy sector, and have been trusted with a number of drafting tasks, amending precedents from and drafting new concepts into contracts for the first time.”

Working hours/no face time

“Linked closely to the autonomy we are given, there is a level of trust vested in trainees that allows us to take greater responsibility for our own time management and scheduling. If I want to leave the office at a certain time for any reason, I am trusted to manage my time to allow for that. There are, of course, busy periods, which require early starts and late finishes, but in my experience, these busy periods are short term in nature and the no face-time culture creates a balance in terms of working hours outside these busy periods.”

Support and guidance

“In addition to your supervisor, there is a network of professional support lawyers, paralegals and secretaries to assist with questions and tasks – from discrete legal research to basic administrative tasks. This support network is particularly beneficial in the first few months of your training contract to overcome the unfamiliarity with many of the tasks you encounter as a new trainee, but will be of continuous benefit throughout your time at the firm.”

Progress report

“Feedback on trainee performance and development is a major focus at Slaughter and May. From speaking to my peers at other major firms, it is another aspect of trainee life here that helps set the firm apart. In addition to the formal reviews that trainees receive every three – six months, an unstructured feedback system and culture exists, which has allowed me to seek information and guidance from my supervisors and others I have worked with and for. This constructive feedback has contributed a huge amount to the pace of my development over the course of my training contract.”

The social side

“There is a well-established and flourishing social network at the firm. I have been involved in a number of events, taking part in charity football tournaments, charity cycles, quizzes, rugby sevens and running races. Anyone who shows an interest is actively encouraged to take part, and I have found it to be a worthwhile investment of time in terms of enjoyment and getting to know people from across the firm.”