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In conversation with Emily Chan: A day in the life of a trainee solicitor

By Emily Chan

Published In: People Stories

We checked in with Emily Chan to find out how she's settling in. Emily is a trainee solicitor in her first year at Switalskis. Emily is in her Commercial Property seat, she splits her time between our Leeds and Knaresborough offices.

"My integration into the team was seamless as the team were very welcoming and inviting.  I think it helped that I baked and often brought in brownies and cakes. "


Have you always wanted to be a lawyer?


I've known from a young age that I wanted to help people. However, I can't stand the sight of blood and I am terrible at maths, so this ruled out being a doctor or an accountant.


What's been your career story so far?


In the summer of 2019, I was a summer intern and assisted the in house counsel at Pearsons Education in Beijing. I found this opportunity on Instagram. It was a challenge for me as I don't fluently understand Mandarin.  While I was out in Beijing, I hiked the Great Wall of China and camped there. I'm very proud of this achievement as I normally find this type of activity very challenging.

I studied at the University of Huddersfield and I spent 18 months as a paralegal before I started my training contract at Swits.


Tell us about a typical day in your current seat, Commercial Property


There is no typical day for me as each day is different, however, my day will almost always include drafting documents such as new leases, easements or overage deeds and taking client instructions and making applications to the Land Registry. I find all of this very interesting, especially drafting as it's quite challenging to word clauses to achieve our client’s objectives.

I always start my day checking my email inbox and making a to-do list so that I can organise my day. However, as every commercial lawyer will know this doesn't always go according to plan as there are often changing priorities

I try to take my lunch around 1pm and I usually go for a walk so I can refresh and refocus.  After lunch I tend to revisit my emails and check my phone to ensure that I haven’t missed anything while I’ve been away from my desk. Once I have done this, I will resume with what’s left to do on my task list and update my to-do list ready to get started the following morning.



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Emily is a Trainee Solicitor. Her current seat is in our Medical Negligence team.

Trainee Solicitor

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