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Covington & Burling LLP

Employee profile

Grace Kim

Trainee Solicitor

Grace Kim is a first-year trainee who studied English Literature at McGill University. Grace’s first seat was within the Tech Regulatory practice, followed by a seat within the Dispute Resolution - White Collar Crime practice. Grace has recently outlined a day in the life of a Covington Trainee.

8:45 a.m.: I check my calendar and inbox on the way into the office, to remind myself of any meetings I have today and to see if any emails have come in overnight from international offices. Lawyers at Covington work in cross-office teams spanning Asia, EMEA and the U.S. on a variety of client matters, and trainees are no exception. As an example, by the end of my first seat, I’d already worked with colleagues from our Beijing, Seoul, Brussels, Frankfurt, Washington, DC and San Franciscooffices.

9 a.m.: I arrive at my desk and quickly scan the news online for anything that may be relevant to our practice area or any of our client matters. I see an article reporting on a case on which we are advising a major multinational client, so I share the link with the team.
I then tidy up meeting attendance notes I took during a recent business trip to Tel Aviv, after which I collate the expense receipts from the trip. It isn’t unheard of for trainees to accompany associates or partners on business (in our intake, trainees have already travelled to Edinburgh, Brussels, Bonn and Tel Aviv in our first year).

10:15 a.m.: A partner sends out a capacity request to the trainee mailing group, asking whether anyone can help with a discrete one-two hour research task this afternoon. I respond positively, as today I am working on less urgent tasks that can be de-prioritised. This
time, another trainee is given the task, so I go back to finalising a memo on Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) reporting obligations that I had started drafting the day before.

12:30 p.m.: The thermometer is meant to hit 25 degrees today, so I head out with a couple of other trainees to enjoy lunch in the sun in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

1:15 p.m.: When I get back to my desk, I see an email from the senior associate whom I’ve been supporting on a major internal investigation for a client. She asks me to conduct a document search in Relativity (our document review platform) relating to a particular aspect of the investigation. I choose what I believe are the most effective search terms, spend a couple of hours
pinpointing relevant documents and provide her with a high-level summary of my findings. Investigations are a key aspect of the White Collar Crime/Investigations and Compliance practice, and are often complex and very interesting. This matter has involved lawyers from Covington offices stretching from Dubai to San Francisco and has been a great learning experience for me.

3:40 p.m.: An associate in the team asks me to take an envelope down to the chambers of a barrister that we and our client have instructed. I pop back out into the sunshine for the five-minute walk to the chambers, deliver the envelope and pick up a coffee on the way back to the office.

4 p.m.: A partner explains that a client is reviewing their compliance with AML laws, and tasks me with finding the specific provisions in the Money Laundering Regulations requiring a firm to designate an individual responsible for compliance with AML laws. I conductresearch into the topic and draft a short email in response.

5 p.m.: I attend a European strategy meeting held by the Dispute Resolution team, in which the two partners who head up the team look back on recent progress and share their vision for the future. The partners discuss our growth strategy and place particular emphasis on the collaborative nature of how the firm operates, and that this ensures the best outcome for our clients.

6 p.m.: After the meeting, the Dispute Resolution team hosts drinks and nibbles, where we discuss the strategies presented and welcome a number of recent joiners to the practice. Dispute Resolution at Covington is an exciting and expanding practice, which has meant that trainees in our intake have been given exposure to a wide range of interesting and complex work (as well as
social events that are frequent and well-attended).