There are many rumours or myths associated with being a trainee, including the infamous working until the early hours or spending every day knee deep in paperwork. I'm here to reassure you that most tales have been confused in a game of Chinese whispers. You have a lot to look forward to as a trainee!
1. Trainees are expected to stay late
This is a common rumour amongst prospective trainees and trainees to be. From my own experience, this is far from the truth. Your colleagues are more concerned with the quality of your work and the effort you put in. If you do a good job and give 100%, nobody will expect anything more. You may at times need to stay later, but staying late for no important reason won't gain you brownie points. Your time is better spent elsewhere.
2. Trainees are expected to volunteer for everything and anything
It is important that you get involved with activities that help the firm outside of your day-to-day job. This helps you network, help a good cause and it will make a good impression. However you do not need to burn out by volunteering for everything. You should try and help and do things you are interested in. This way the quality of your work will be better. It is unlikely people are monitoring how much you are volunteering for but if you do a good job, people will notice.
3. Trainees are not expected to do administrative tasks
This is an important one to remember. As a trainee, you should be willing to assist with anything that can help your colleagues, whether it is admin related or something that requires legal knowledge. Whether you have admin support or not, you should always be willing to carry out the task yourself. Having administrative skills is key, so if you do choose to delegate a task, you can appreciate the time and difficulty involved. Law involves a lot of admin, so it follows that you need to be equipped to carry out any task involved.
I hope that you can now appreciate through this article that as a trainee, as long as you are dedicated, enthusiastic and willing to get involved, you will do well. Don't focus on the stereotype, focus on what really matters and most importantly be yourself.