After leaving university I worked for a year in PR before deciding to pursue a career in law. I applied for training contracts at a number of firms and Travers was the first that got back to me and invited me to an interview. The interviews (which were with one and then two partners) were fast-paced and challenging and I left feeling both clueless as to how I did and sure that it was the place I wanted to work. When I found out I had got a training contract a few days later the decision was easy, and I immediately withdrew all my other applications.
I am currently in my second six-month seat sitting with the corporate finance team in the firm's corporate department. The section of the department I work in predominantly advises large companies (which are often listed on the London Stock Exchange or AIM) who are considering restructuring their business by selling part of it or buying another company. Given the size of the companies involved these deals can take a number of months to complete but luckily I have been able to experience the different stages on different deals – from getting to know the target business inside out though due diligence to frantically trying to get the deal over the line at completion (and then reading about it in the news the next day).
My first six months were spent in the dispute resolution department, where I worked on a number of different matters in different jurisdictions – including market abuse proceedings in Italy to wind farm litigation in Germany. I got the opportunity to draft letters and documents, as well as sit in on a number of client meetings and attend court. My most memorable experiences was helping organise and run a mediation that lasted almost 24 hours and which ultimately resulted in a settlement.
Although it was daunting at first, what I most enjoy about the job is the fact that on most days I have no idea what I will be doing that day. I can't think of any other job where you learn so much on a daily basis and an environment where everyone is looking to improve how things are done and the service the firm offers. In both departments I have always been made to feel like a valued member of the team and been give the responsibility to learn and develop. Having said that, there has always been someone to ask (even if the question is how to use the staple remover) if you're not sure about something.
When you start as a trainee there is a two week general induction programme, followed by departmental specific training at the beginning of each seat. The training covers everything from how to book a meeting room to how to draft a particular document, and is invaluable in enabling you to hit the ground running at the start of the training contact. All of the departmental specific training is given by associates and partners and gives an overview of the work the department does as well as focussing on the tasks that will most often be required to be done by trainees.
Travers Smith is a fun and sociable place to work - from lunches and coffees in the new canteen to the frequent social events (singing karaoke with my supervisor was a particular highlight), there are lots of opportunities to get to know the people you work with. The fact that trainees move departments every six months gives you a really good grounding in knowing who people are, and makes it a lot easier to contact them when the need arises. Before joining Travers Smith I had heard a lot about what a collaborative and friendly place it is to work at and I have to say I have not been disappointed and look forward to the rest of my training contract.