Diandra Bennett

Trainee solicitor

What was it that attracted you to Capsticks?

Medical law was my favourite area having studied tort in my first year and healthcare law and ethics in my final year. I was attracted to Capsticks because of the specialist nature of the firm. Healthcare law is niche, but Capsticks are a top firm within this area who work with a wide range of high-profile clients. What also stuck out to me was the clear responsibility that is given at an early stage, with appropriate supervision.

What has your training been like?

My first seat was Insurance Litigation (Claims), where I ran my own case-load of beauty claims and assisted solicitors with their high value claims (fire damage, clinical trials, and clinical negligence) – I really enjoyed this seat. I’m currently in my second seat, Healthcare Advisory. The work in this area is nothing short of varied and interesting! I’ve been able to assist with both high-profile inquests, court of protection matters and varied queries as they relate to information law and issues surrounding both the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act. There are truly no two days the same in this division, which has allowed me to increase my knowledge in a wide range of areas.

I have a weekly team meeting and a weekly catch up with my supervisor to discuss how the seat is going and any other things that I might want experience in going forward, which makes me feel really supported in my learning. What’s also really helpful is when a solicitor sends a task over, they’re really good explaining the context, the bigger picture – they explain why the task needs to be done and how it fits into the grand scheme of the case, which not only gives me a full understanding, but it makes me feel like my contribution is important and worthwhile.

What does the typical day of a trainee look like?

I like to start my day with an iced latte and a review of emails. I would have done my to-do list at the end of my working day before, so the email review is just to check that I don't need to add anything to it that might be urgent. Next is probably then preparing a piece of advice for a client or attending a call with a clinician to take a witness statement or a hearing. Depending on the day, there might be an early afternoon training session to attend, but if not, usual case management in the afternoon. I'd then end my day doing my to-do list for the next day.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The flexibility, the early responsibility, and the room for progression. At law school you hear all of the horror stories about how you'll be working until 11pm at night with no sleep, which is simply not the expectation or the reality here. I like the flexibility, even as a junior, to utilise the core hours and also the trust given to you that you will ensure that your work is completed. The job can be stressful at times, as with any role, but the firm’s concern is the standard of work rather than when and how you do the work, which does lend itself to a lovely working environment.

What advice would you give to future trainees?

If you're coming up, I'd say, just because it’s daunting doesn't mean you can't do it, and don't judge your journey based on anyone else's – carve out your own path and walk it the best way you can. I found my legal assistant / paralegal role invaluable and it really helped me hit the ground running when I started as a trainee.