Having read that Akin Gump LLP was advising on a major transaction which I found particularly interesting and having extensively read the firm’s website, I applied directly to the graduate recruitment team for a training contract. I was attracted to Akin Gump mainly due to its client base which includes highly sophisticated and varied financial institutions, corporations and governments. I was also keen to be part of a smaller intake and wanted to train at a US law firm because of the responsibility and experience that I would get.
I am currently in my second seat, in Investment Funds. Similarly to my first seat in Finance, this is a transactional seat which involves significant amounts of drafting, transaction management and is very fast-paced. On a daily basis, I communicate with our clients, setting-up new funds or assisting them with any other fund or company related issued. As I am the only trainee in the department, I often have a lot of responsibility and regularly handle associate level work which the firm sees as being vital in preparing for qualification. There is bi-weekly training which is organised specifically for the trainees, as well as firm-wide or department specific training lunches or sessions which are given by associates or partners and focus on specific issues. A lot of the training for the trainees happens on the job and the firm encourages us to learn by experience.
There have been a lot of highlights, including working directly with partners, dealing with the reorganisation of an entity with countless subsidiaries and launching a fund. I thoroughly enjoy how the firm truly works as a team (both in London and internationally) and how all your colleagues and the wider firm are always there to support you. This is particularly important as at every level you are given a lot of responsibility. Given that we are only four trainees in my year, this is a small enough intake for us to be able to organise dinners or drinks among ourselves. The firm holds Christmas and summer parties as well as departmental events and it is not unusual that every Friday the juniors go out in the evening together!