How I secured the job and why I chose Dentons:
I got the Training Contract whilst working as a paralegal in the Banking department, upon completion of my LPC and LLM, so not through the traditional means that most graduates go through.
The banking practice gave me an excellent opportunity to experience working at a commercial law firm ahead of applying for a training contract. I applied to Dentons for three main reasons: the culture, the quality of work, and the firm's practice areas. I knew that I fit in at the firm and I could be myself here, which was really important for me as I find I engage best when I am enjoying my time at work. I really enjoyed the breadth of clients and transactions I was able to assist with on a day to day basis as I found them both impressive and interesting.
What my role involves- typical activities and key responsibilities:
I am currently doing my first seat in the Real Estate department. The work varies from tasks such as negotiating a lease, liaising with local counsel in international jurisdictions to facilitate transactions and filing forms at the Land Registry. I also review and draft documents for associates and partners to increase my exposure to different types of work and issues the commercial teams encounter and attend calls and meetings as a representative of my department allowing me to better appreciate the negotiation process and commercial drivers that underpin a lot of our work.
What training I have received:
All trainees undertake a full trainee induction, which lasts two weeks plus supplementary training throughout the two years. All of the firm's departments run lots of their own training sessions in a variety of weekly formal and informal sessions, (sometimes with a free lunch!) to ensure your skills remain up to date in regards to the latest legal developments. As a trainee you are also invited to attend other department's sessions if you wish and think they may be interesting or relevant. Dentons also has a strong mentoring culture, with associates and partners typically willing to spend time with juniors explaining concepts to assist your understanding of the work you are involved in.
Structure of training contract:
Trainees complete a training contract of four six month seats and I am undertaking my first seat now. Each trainee gets to submit their seat preferences and there are a significant number of opportunities to complete a seat either in-house on secondment or internationally, in another Dentons office in the global network.
Highlights include closing one of the largest corporate deals in the world at the time which involved the sale of Unilever's spreads business for a large sum of money (€6.825 billion to be precise) and working on the post completion of such a large international deal. My efforts, despite from a very junior level, were recognised and it was awesome to be able to be invited to the numerous closing celebrations and getting a personal 'thank you' from the matter partners.
What I enjoy about their job and why I like working for Dentons:
Predominantly the responsibility. I am given the opportunity to liaise with clients directly and I feel like I am genuinely helping them with my direct input and contributions. This coupled with the variety of tasks as my workload changes daily means that I feel like an active part of the team and I am never out of the loop. The people I work with also mean the days I spend in the office and the occasional late nights never lack camaraderie.
Despite being such a huge firm, Dentons makes you feel like part of the team from day one, with the different associates and partners involving you in the wide range of projects that they're working on.
Seeing Dentons evolve through multiple combinations and it always being in the legal press for this and its over merits means that I am never forgetting I am at a cutting-edge and market-leading firm.
I have not faced any significant challenges whilst working at Dentons as the culture is genuinely supportive and the quality of training and support available is great. If I ever am unsure in a situation I am always encouraged to ask my supervisor or any of the seniors.