As the firm’s Training Principal, I’d like to say a few words about why I think you should read on and find out more about the training opportunities we have to offer.
Here at BDB we don’t look for one particular type of trainee. We believe individual differences bring great strengths to our firm. There are, however, some traits our trainees all have in common. They are enthusiastic, supportive, can search for (and find) innovative solutions to problems, and demonstrate a real passion for learning. They are also people that we and our clients enjoy working with.
But why should you choose BDB? Each year, we offer a small intake of trainees a truly supportive and friendly environment to train in. You are not only supported by your trainee supervisor and me but also from the people you work with closely, including our Partners.
Our trainees are respected and valued members of the team who make a real contribution to the work we do for our clients. Speaking of clients, should you train with us you will also have the opportunity to learn about, and gain experience of, the broad range of interesting and high profile work that we do.
On completion of their training we know that our trainees are fully equipped to become great Solicitors. Not only are our trainees given the technical and legal skills required to be a Solicitor, they will also have had the opportunity to develop skills in other important areas Solicitors need, such as time management, organisation, team work, communication and building client relationships.
We also recognise that the journey doesn’t stop when you become a Solicitor, so for those trainees who qualify with us, and we hope they all do, the firm continues to provide training and support as you progress through your career.
It’s been a while since I was seeking a training contract. Yet I clearly remember the abundance of information out there about the legal market and the different opportunities available. It’s important to consider the type of environment you feel will help you thrive and the nature of the work that will inspire you. Our future trainees can be assured of a supportive and inclusive environment where they will be given the chance to work on important and complex legal matters. If that sounds like the type of training you are seeking, please read on and learn more about life at BDB!
We’ve built a culture that encourages talent to flourish and an environment where people enjoy working.
Training with BDB will bring you real responsibility right from the start, combined with the right level of support to ensure you never feel overwhelmed.
The best thing about working at BDB ‘Its varied client base, smaller size (which makes it easier to get involved in the more interesting aspects of cases), and friendly and approachable atmosphere.’
Annie’s top trainee tip ‘To get involved in as wide a variety of work as possible – the things you really enjoy doing could be the ones you hadn’t considered before.’
The training has been really great so far. At the beginning, all new trainees have an induction week to get to grips with the basics. The induction process was really comprehensive, and it was great to have a whole week to settle in to the firm and get to know the other trainees in my intake before starting work in my department. There is a lot of support from each department as well, like training on the different types of work that each department does. Once you start to settle in, there are lots of opportunities to get involved with a wide variety of work, but there is still a lot of support if you ever need it. I meet with my supervisor every week to talk through my workload and see if there’s anything I need any help with, which is really useful when work gets hectic. I was also assigned a ‘buddy’ solicitor in my first seat, who was a great resource whenever I had questions.
Because the firm is medium-sized, it is really easy to get to know people and more senior members of the firm are very approachable and easy to talk to. Aside from that, I have loved the variety of work which I have been able to do – in just my first two months I was able to get involved in family law, private client, judicial review, property and employment law cases. I think it is unusual to be able to experience so much in such a short period of time, and very useful at this stage of my career.
The best thing about working at BDB ‘It’s commitment to diversity and it’s openness to welcoming people from different backgrounds.’
Clara’s top trainee tip ‘When you hand a piece of work to a solicitor for them to review, make sure that it is good enough that if it was sent directly to a client you would be happy with the content. This helped me because it confirms the standard of work required from trainees and helps me to refine my work with the client in mind.’
In my previous career I worked at several national charities including with projects supporting young people leaving prison and the care system. At the mental health charity, Mind, I was responsible for ensuring that all of the member organisations in the federated structure met the Mind Quality Mark. In my most recent role at Citizens Advice, I was the contract manager for the witness service, a volunteer-led service that supports witnesses in all criminal courts in England and Wales. I was attracted to BDB because of its reputation in the charity sector and its approach to diversity and inclusion. During the BDB Summer vacation scheme, I found everyone to be positive, friendly and supportive.
My first seat was in the charities team, which sits within the business services department. It was a fast-paced environment with lots of deadlines so the days flew by. We work with a diverse range of charities and it is interesting to see the good causes they focus on. I had a lot to learn but my supervisor took the time to provide me with useful feedback.
My second seat is in the litigation team, where I have had the opportunity to attend several court hearings and mediation. I am assisting on a number of disputes in relation to family law, property law and contentious trust and probate. It has been fascinating to learn about dispute resolution and the court processes. BDB cares about its people and they have made a huge investment in the learning and development of their trainees. The staff at BDB are warm, approachable and take pride in delivering high-quality work. BDB cares about diversity. For example, during diversity week there was a presentation every lunch time on a range of topics including: disability; the trans community; hate crimes; supporting someone with cancer; and a presentation by Ebony Rainford-Brent, the first black woman to play for the England cricket team.
The best thing about working at BDB ‘The best thing has been that I have real responsibility and am trusted to do real work. People take time to explain things to me in detail and are willing to answer my questions.’
Rahil’s top trainee tip ‘Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It sounds simple, and usually people are good at explaining everything at the start, but if you are unsure about something just ask. Sometimes just finding out some more context can help a lot when working out the answer. The most important thing is to have a good understanding of what you are being asked to do / produce.’
I wanted to be a solicitor because I like being able to solve problems. Breaking down a problem and then working out the best way to approach it is something solicitors have to do all of the time. I also wanted a career where I can consider the bigger picture. A client’s options can be influenced by a range of factors, and advice is not just limited to legal considerations. I chose BDB because of the good range of interesting departments which means that I can really explore what type of lawyer I want to be, and the good size trainee intake which means more responsibility. Working here as a paralegal also helped me get a feel for the firm’s culture.
During my second seat with the litigation team, I assisted on a number of commercial disputes, including a misrepresentation claim. I played a key role in successfully having a statutory demand set aside and then prepared the same client’s defence to an administration application. This involved meeting with him to take an accurate witness statement. I had the opportunity to assist on the judicial review of a planning decision. I worked closely with the supervising partner to draft the initial documentation, helped draft a reply and discussed the issues with the client throughout.
In my current seat with the government and infrastructure team I have been busy helping the team with an airport development consent order. I am also working on opposition to a highly contentious Compulsory Purchase Order. I will be attending the public inquiry for this Order later in the year and have already had the chance to meet some of the witnesses.
There has been lots of useful IT training to ensure we know how to use the firm’s systems. I’m using the system every day, so in-depth knowledge is important. The firm have had people from various legal databases (e.g. Lexis, Westlaw, PLC, Lawtel and many more) come in and train us on their products. Even though I used some of these during university, it was good to have refresher sessions for when I’m asked to do research (which is often). In our first two weeks we took part in some PSC sessions. To qualify as a solicitor you need to have taken part in a certain number of PSC sessions and the firm arranged these from the start. The induction training in our first week focus on more than purely legal topics, we learned about networking skills as well as drafting. There are also internal training sessions within departments, during my first few months I had a training session at least every fortnight.
The best thing about working at BDB ‘The level of responsibility which trainees seem to be allowed, in addition to the culture. BDB is not at all stuffy or old fashioned!’
Rebecca’s top trainee tip ‘Always carry a notebook and pen, show willingness to learn and take on as great a variety of work as possible.’
I was fairly sure that I wanted to be a solicitor when I took my GCSEs and subsequent work experience and research confirmed this to me. However, I chose to study Geography before converting to Law as I have always loved the subject and was sure that, being such a broad discipline ranging from physical science to more economic and political studies, Geography would stand me in good stead for a career in the law. BDB’s reputation for Private Wealth and Real Estate work first drew me to the firm. On further research and after meeting BDB employees at the assessment days, I was very impressed by the firm’s friendly and welcoming culture. All of the existing trainees that I talked to spoke very highly of the firm and I was confident that it would be a great place to train.
During the induction week there was lots of training on the ‘basics’ of life at BDB, for example how to use the IT system, how the knowledge resources can be accessed and (vitally) how the coffee machine works. In each seat I have had lots of seat-specific training. These more specific sessions are really helpful in allowing me to learn more about the finer details of the work I’m doing from real experts in the field. It is different to the abstract learning of the LPC and rewarding to see real-life law in action.
I am really enjoying the training experience at BDB so far. My first seat was in the private wealth department where I was given real responsibility (with plenty of reassuring supervision!), had lots of client interaction and learnt a huge amount. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of responsibility I was given, especially in comparison to friends training at other London firms. I drafted several wills and trust documents, including Deeds of Appointment, run probate files. I also visited a client at her home to execute her will and take instructions. Although I enjoying having responsibility, I am also very reassured knowing that my work is carefully checked by a partner or senior associate before being sent out to clients.