As somebody who grew up and studied in the Midlands, when the time came to apply for vacation schemes with a view to obtaining a training contract, my sights were set on finding a global law firm with a strong regional presence so that I could experience high quality international work without the need to uproot. DLA Piper's Birmingham office fit the bill perfectly. I attended a summer scheme in 2013 and, following a successful assessment day, was offered a training contract which definitely hasn’t disappointed.
I began my training contract with the Finance and Projects team, followed by a second seat with the Corporate department and I recently rotated to my third seat as a Litigation and Regulatory trainee. In each new seat, the teams have been warm and friendly, with fee earners of all levels as well as the dedicated support staff making a real effort to integrate me into their departments so that I immediately felt both valued and supported. Fitting in with my colleagues has been trouble-free and I have been able to develop trusted professional relationships within a short space of time.
The collegiate atmosphere within the firm has really allowed me to flourish and constantly improve upon my skill set. I have found that fee earners genuinely want to see trainees achieve their potential and every member of the team, from supervisors to senior partners goes to great lengths to teach you the skills you need to become a successful solicitor. I learn something new every day and this ever enhancing knowledge, together with the high level of trust that is placed with trainees, has given me the scope to take on far more responsibility than I ever imagined. This significant level of responsibility as well as the fantastic trainee supervision are both well complemented by the high quality training sessions offered in each department, all of which come together to create a very powerful training environment.
In terms of my experience to date, taking my last seat with the corporate team, I assisted on a wide variety of matters, including mergers and acquisitions, reorganisations and IPOs. I was heavily involved with the project management of each matter and was given plenty of opportunity to interact with clients, be it via emails and conference calls or face-to-face at disclosure meetings and completions. I have managed data rooms, drafted disclosure letters, assisted with the due diligence process and drafted a vast array of ancillary documents. I only had to ask and I was given the opportunity to try my hand at something new.
The opportunities available in addition to the legal side of my training contract have also exceeded my expectations. From captaining the office netball team, to taking part in social housing pro-bono to help with the rehousing of children with disabilities, there is something for everyone and I feel lucky to have been given the chance to participate in so many additional activities and projects, all of which have added to the exceptional experience I have had at DLA Piper so far.