The best advocates of our graduate careers are the trainees themselves. Here’s what Matt had to say about life at AG.
- Name: Matt Finnie
- Job title: Trainee
- Office Location: Edinburgh
- Current Department: Construction, Engineering and Environment
How I Got Here
Originally from an insignificant but lovely little village in north-east Fife, I studied both the LLB and the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at the University of Aberdeen.
AG is a firm that acts for large, institutional clients, so a lot of the work is on exciting and fast-moving deals. I’ve been able to act on some incredibly interesting, high-value, and complex matters for global clients. As my confidence has grown, I’ve been able to take a central role in transactions, frequently answering client queries directly and without prior supervisory approval. While this level of responsibility can be daunting, I think it’s indispensable if you’re going to properly 'find your feet'.
Encouraged From Day One
In the second week of my traineeship, I remember a chat with a partner following a client conference call: "just fill your boots on this one really," he said. I was surprised at the time, but in a good way. It brought home the exciting challenge of an AG traineeship. You’re encouraged from day one to bring everything to the table. No idea is a bad idea, and no question is brushed off. There’s always room for you to add value as a trainee, and the key is looking for these chances. The same ethos applies with senior team members, always looking for ways to deliver a 'more-than' service. Reflecting on the 'fill your boots' phrase a year on, it’s probably the best piece of advice I could pass on to any aspiring trainee. I adopted it as a bit of a mantra and doing so has paid off in spades.
Throwing Myself In
I’ve worked in two departments so far – Business Support & Restructuring and Construction, Engineering & Environment – and I’ve tried to take on the full range of work available. Trainees are encouraged to do this because it allows you to be useful to as many people as possible and quickly learn new skills. I’ve been involved in a lot of work: preparing bundles for court, instructing counsel, fielding calls, drafting contracts, organising e-files, creating inventories, attending client meetings, attending court, drafting briefing notes, writing articles and presenting internally and externally.
No End of Support
AG is one of those employers where you don't need to be looking for support to receive it. I’ve received support every day, from any and every avenue.
A Friendly Bunch
The people here are great! They’re very friendly across all departments and levels. Socials are frequent and we recently had summer parties for each of the offices in very glam venues. There are also brilliant away days for each department.
My Most Enjoyable Moment
My best moment – or my most exciting – came when my article on Brexit and cross-border insolvency law was published by the firm. Aside from the article's content (which I swear is deeply engaging stuff) there was pleasure in knowing the firm supported me in putting across a great deal of research.
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