This article was written by Sam Rae to provide an insight into what a day in the life as a Trainee Solicitor might look like.

This is an overview of what one of my days as a trainee solicitor at Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillibrand LLP might look like. I am currently working in the commercial property department and so the work that I am most predominantly engaged with is disposals, acquisitions, and leases of commercial property as well as general landlord and tenant matters.

8:30 am: I arrive at the office and check my emails and to do-list. I then allocate and prioritise the tasks that need to be completed. Today, I need to tackle an underlease that we (my supervising solicitor and I) have recently been instructed on.

9:00 am: The underlease in question that I am working on relates to a small commercial property in the South Lakes area. I therefore spend my morning considering the title documents, superior lease and any other copy title documents that relate to the property. I am specifically looking at the rights and reservations in the superior lease, what the covenants in the superior lease may mean for the proposed undertenant, and any covenants, easements etc that may need to be considered when drafting the underlease. I also consider the heads of terms supplied by our client’s agent which contain information relating to the length of the term, the rent to be paid and any rent reviews, repair obligations, alienation, and security of tenure provisions.

12:00 pm: I usually try to leave my desk at 12 for a lunch break. Today I went for a walk around the Quay.

12:45 pm: After getting back to my desk, I start drafting the underlease. While drafting the underlease I am paying particular attention to the heads of terms so that I am able to capture the agreement between the landlord and tenant. I am also considering how I am going to ensure that the covenants within the superior lease will be complied with as well as any other matters that have arisen from the title documents. I particularly enjoy leases; they can be very technical and mentally stimulating. While it’s important to ensure that a lease encapsulates the broad heads of terms, it is also important to think practically how a lease will work on a day-to-day as well as a more long-term basis. For example, if alienation rights are to be permitted, it is important to consider on what terms and whether these will be acceptable to your client. The rights and reservations also need to be considered, what rights will the tenant be given in relation to the property, and will these meet the tenant’s intended use of the property? Are there any rights the landlord wants to reserve over the property? Are there any third-party rights and how will these work within the lease?

4:00 pm: After drafting the underlease, I proofread it before sending to my supervising solicitor. I often try to ignore emails while I’m drafting so that I can focus on the task at hand. I therefore allow some time at the end of my day to catch up on any emails that may have come in and try to deal with anything that is urgent.

5:00 pm: Today my firm are sponsoring a local networking event at a bar in Lancaster so after work, I head into Lancaster to have some drinks and nibbles with colleagues and use the opportunity to meet other professionals in the area.

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