In 2015, I successfully applied for a place on Clifford Chance's first year scheme now called SPARK. After my time on the scheme, I was offered a place on the firm's summer vacation scheme which I completed in 2016. I spent a week in the firm's Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions department and another week in the Litigation department. At the end of the vacation scheme, I was offered a training contract as a result of my performance on the scheme and my training contract interview. I chose to complete my training contract at Clifford Chance for three main reasons. Firstly, the people I had met at the firm were welcoming, genuine and unique. They gave me helpful and thoughtful career advice, answered my questions honestly and were a source of support during the application process. Further, I met so many different types of people which reassured me that Clifford Chance did not have a 'type' and I would fit into the firm. Secondly, the type of work that Clifford Chance does. I was impressed by how global the firm is both in terms of its clients and work. This is displayed by the number of offices the firm has around the world and the cross-jurisdictional nature of many of the firm's transactions. Thirdly, the training. It was clear from the networking sessions and presentations I attended during my first-year scheme and summer vacation scheme that my training would be comprehensive and challenging. Through classroom teaching and learning on the job, it was evident to me when choosing between firms that Clifford Chance was committed to ensuring that its trainees received the highest level of training throughout their training contract.
During my training contract, I have received both structured formal training and informal training. Focusing on the two seats I have completed which are Finance and Corporate, at the beginning of each seat, I was given a comprehensive overview of the respective departments and the work covered by each sub-group. The training sessions were led and delivered by specialists in the practice areas as well as associates and partners. The training sessions also continued throughout my time in each seat. Some training sessions were more practical than others and involved drafting documents and research tasks. The other sessions aimed to provide the trainees with a thorough understanding of the landscape we are operating in. In my Corporate seat, I took part in a trainee SPA case study which gave me the opportunity to closely analyse some key transaction documents, re-draft the clauses to make it suitable to my client's needs and negotiate with the counter party. I was also given a choice of three topics to present on and was given feedback on my performance by the other trainees, associates and partners in my department. The informal training occurs every day as a trainee by completing tasks, receiving feedback on my performance on those tasks and learning by osmosis from associates and partners.
I think I have struggled with impostor syndrome during various points in my training contract. There are several times I have doubted my abilities and questioned whether I am supposed to be in the legal profession. My friends at Clifford Chance have been my greatest source of support. We often share our wins and losses and it is a good reminder that we are all on our individual journeys and comparison is the thief of joy. I have also found it helpful to speak to my supervisors when I am struggling and they have provided useful advice and tips on how to progress and focus on the positives. I also often think about how far I have come since the start of my training contract and my growth over the past year both personally and professionally has been tremendous.
I like working at Clifford Chance because I think the firm cares about my career and personal development. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by people who are invested in me and display their interest in my career progression by encouraging me, giving me challenging and interesting work to ensure I grow. I appreciate the firm's commitment to diversity which I have a seen as a member of the firm's REACH Network.