James Martin Reflects On Rollos Traineeship

With our Court Trainee applications open for 2020, take a look back at James Martin’s blog piece outlining his trainee experience with Rollos.

On my first day at Rollos, my senior colleagues advised me that the two years of the traineeship would pass in an instant. At the time I took these comments with a pinch of salt, however, the time has flown by, just as they suggested it would. 

A key reason the time passes so quickly at Rollos is that from day one, you are required to have direct contact with clients, either through telephone calls, emails or supervised meetings (which progress quickly to independent meetings). In other words you get to experience real life situations rather than simply theoretical scenarios. I am aware that this is different to my peers, some of whom are only just starting to meet clients at the end of their traineeship.

One of the great things about a traineeship at Rollos is that (within reason) you can tailor it to your requirements. At Rollos, Solicitors are not restricted to simply working within one particular area of practice. This has meant that I have had the opportunity to deal with a variety of clients across a wide range of legal matters but also to act for the same clients across a number of matters enabling me to build my own relationships with clients. I have also been very fortunate to have worked for supervisors who have allowed me to explore those areas which are of particular interest to me in detail, namely Conveyancing, and Private Client.

The staff in St Andrews are actually based in a couple of different offices and one of my favourite parts of the day is the morning meeting where the trainee Solicitors, Solicitors and Partners get together to discuss any pressing legal issues. Unlike other industries this is not simply a motivational meeting designed to boost sales figures but instead provides the opportunity to discuss any general legal matters. This is great as a trainee because there will undoubtedly be someone in the room who has either come across your issue in the past, knows where to look for the answer or comes up with some out of the box approach which you had not considered. At Rollos all opinions are held to be equally valid whether you are a first year trainee or a Partner.

The morning meeting touches on another positive aspect of the traineeship which is that I have been lucky enough to find Partners and Solicitors who are always approachable no matter their own work load. This applies to all Rollos Partners and Solicitors across our offices throughout Fife. All of them have been trainees at one time and understand that as a trainee you never stop learning. The only way you can improve is to ask questions. They would definitely much rather you asked them a “silly” question than either worried about it for hours on end or made a mistake which could easily have been prevented if you had simply asked for assistance.

For any students looking for a traineeship, I would advise you to place great importance on the culture of the firm and ensure it matches your own values. At Rollos, the culture is based on the idea of the client experience rather than being target driven. Rollos value repeat business and as a long established firm have acted for generations of families throughout the years. The approach to clients is very much based on how Rollos can help clients rather than how clients can help Rollos boost their profit margin.


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