- Name of graduate scheme: Training Contract
- University attended: Brunel University
- egree qualification and year of graduation: LLB Law Degree (2013)
How the graduate got the job and why they chose your company and Why they like working for you and anything that is particularly perky!
The application process for obtaining a training contract involved an online application form and an assessment day which was broken up into a competency interview, a group exercise involving a group commercial discussion and presentation; and a commercial awareness scenario based discussion with a Partner and Senior Associate. Since I applied to the firm, the application process has changed so that all applicants must first apply for a vacation scheme – this is so that applicants and the firm can both assess whether they are a good fit for each other over a prolonged period of two weeks.
I applied for the training contract at Taylor Wessing because I was attracted by the work that Taylor Wessing is involved in with exciting clients in interesting sectors such as the technology media and communications and the life sciences & healthcare sectors. The blend of interesting corporate and high net worth clients and the ability to really get stuck in with work from an early stage of the training really appealed to me.
What the graduate’s role involves: typical activities and key responsibilities
The role of a trainee solicitor at Taylor Wessing varies slightly from department to department, but I would say that we definitely get more 'real' work than the average trainee solicitor in other city law firms. I have also been fortunate that, due to my previous experience working at the firm, I have been entrusted with some really important contributions. For example, during a 6 month 'seat' in our Private Capital and Corporate Finance department I was entrusted with drafting a lot of the ancillary agreements required for Mergers & Acquisitions, including having a go at the first draft of a Share Purchase Agreement for one transaction.
If the graduate is on a structured/formal scheme, what that involves AND What training the graduate has received
Most of the training is done on the job. Supervisors are always keen and willing to answer questions and to provide guidance. Trainee Solicitors are invite to all of the departmental 'continuous learning' sessions and therefore get exposure to updates in the law that all of the qualified solicitors get. All trainees are also expected the complete the three compulsory SRA Professional Skills Courses (which are spread out over the training contract), and can request and/or get involved in any skills bolstering internal training sessions (e.g. on public speaking, drafting etc.)
What the graduate enjoys about their job AND Highlights of the work the graduate has done
The best thing about life as a trainee solicitor at Taylor Wessing is that no two days are the same! There are too many highlights to pick out over my time as a trainee, given that each contentious matter or each transaction feels very important in its own way. Personally, I was very fortunate to undertake a 6 month client secondment at a major online retailer. This was an interesting experience and helped to bolster my confidence and legal skills – not least because whilst on secondment there, I was just another member of 'legal' and was not seen as a trainee by the business.
What challenges the graduate has faced and how they have overcome any difficult situations – what support has been provided
I have been fortunate in that the only difficult challenge has been adjusting to a new department after changing 'seats'. Being faced with new sets of clients, new colleagues, and a new area of law every 6 months sounds, on the face of it, very daunting. However, each department I have sat with has been very welcoming (including the in-house legal team at the client where I undertook a secondment for one of my seats). My supervisors have been great lawyers and individuals who I have learned a lot from. Listening to and picking up the good habits and tips from each supervisor has helped to make me more adaptable and has helped me to develop my legal skills.