Before lockdown my day would start at 6am sharp. I would get up, get ready and out of the house ready to get on the train by 7:20am. I would see the same faces on the platform nearly every day, all of us ready for our daily commute. Now my commute consists of a short walk across the landing to the spare bedroom. My desk is set up with my laptop and files and within minutes I am connected to our system and ready to start work.
As a Trainee Solicitor in the wills and probate team I would spend most of my day meeting with clients and shadowing Solicitors in the team. At least once a week I would be on a home visit, visiting clients in their homes and assisting them with getting their wills and lasting powers of attorney in place. Whilst I now don’t meet face to face with clients, we are still on hand and providing our clients with the advice that they need.
If we aren’t meeting in the office or on a home appointment, how are we doing it? We usually start by having a telephone call where we have a chat about what the client would like to do and the best way to achieve it. Today the client would like to make a will. I take notes as the client gives me their instructions on their will over the phone. We chat through the different things they may wish to include and within 20 minutes there will is starting to take shape.
The vast majority of my calls end with a comment that the client has found it to be a straightforward and painless process. I get the sense that a lot of them go away thinking ‘what stopped me from doing this sooner’. For most people it is time, we are often too busy working to take time out to go and see a solicitor to talk about a will. That’s the great thing about how we are working now, the twenty minute phone call can be done at any time in the comfort of your own home.
Following the phone call I email the information to Stacey, and the file is up and running within 24 hours. I then draft the will from the spare bedroom and email it to the client for their consideration. We usually then have another phone call to chat through the contents of the will and ensure it is exactly what the client wants. I then email it to Annie at York and Annie prints it in the office ready to be posted to the client for signature.
I was a little worried that working from home I would feel a little isolated as I am so used to having colleagues sat opposite me and next to me to discuss the work we are doing. It has turned out to be quite the opposite. Instead of a team meeting where we all meet at Duke House (our Leeds city centre office) we now do it over Zoom and get to say hello to each other’s pets! We share our ideas and talk about the new challenges of working from home that we are facing. There’s a general consensus that whilst the way we are working is different we are all still working and actually it may be the new way of working going forwards. We are all still assisting our clients and getting the job done.