I attended a careers talk at college where a barrister explained to me that a career in law was challenging but rewarding and that no two days were ever the same. So far my training contract has certainly lived up to that! Following the talk I arranged work experience at different types of firms; high street, regional and city. Although I didn’t always like the areas of work I experienced, I was convinced that a career in law was somewhere where my knowledge would continue to develop throughout my career and this was something which was important to me.
I was attracted to Fladgate because of its strong real estate team, an area I had developed an interest in during work experience at another similar sized firm. It’s the biggest department and is involved in a range of different transactions of varying sizes. I also like that the firm is partner-led. It really distinguishes us from other firms and means that trainees have plenty of supervision and access to expert knowledge. We’re a growing firm but it’s still small enough to know people from across all of the departments.
The process is a varied one with a number of different assessments including a written application, a team-work task, a legal application test, and an interview, so there are plenty of opportunities to impress and convince the firm that you would be an asset. It is challenging, but the assessment day in particular was good fun with opportunities to meet trainees and partners from across the firm.
Research, research, research. All firms are different and this should be reflected in your application. Find the firm’s unique selling points and tailor your application to those. If you know someone in the profession, speak to them about their experiences of other firms; their size, culture and professionalism.
You should also think about your own unique selling point. Discuss your experiences which will make you stand out and use the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action and Result).
Spelling mistakes show a lack of attention to detail but attention to detail is something you will be expected to show during your training contract, so make sure you proofread your application and get someone else to read it as they may pick up on things you have missed.
A typical day involves balancing a number of different tasks and the expectations of a number of fee earners. Tasks can include drafting (board minutes, applications, correspondence, leases), research, and attending client meetings, court hearings and team/department meetings.
I’m an avid hiker in my spare time. I’ve climbed Snowdon and Thabana Ntlenyana (meaning “Beautiful Little Mountain”, the highest peak in Southern Africa). I’ve also climbed the Sani Pass to the Sani Mountain Lodge – the highest pub in Africa!