Emily Bailey

Emily Bailey

Trainee Solicitor

Norton Rose Fulbright

I began my journey with Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) as their Campus Ambassador in Cambridge. This role gave me an unbeatable insight into the firm and gave me the opportunity to meet a wide range of people from the firm. I was struck by how friendly everyone I met was, from partner to trainee, and how genuinely interested they were in getting to know me and the aspirations I had for my career. It was clear from the outset that these were the sort of people I would enjoy working with and could learn a great deal from. I therefore applied to the two-week Summer Vacation Scheme to see whether the firm could live up to this good first impression.

During the Summer Vacation Scheme, I sat with the Project Finance team. I was given a broad range of interesting tasks and was impressed by the market-leading nature of the work. The team did not hesitate to take time out of their busy days to explain the background of transactions and give me feedback on the work I produced. It was also really refreshing to see a firm live up to its promise of offering a good work/life balance. During just two weeks with the firm I got the chance to attend my team’s ‘Away Day’ and the firm-wide ‘Summer Party’, hosted in the grounds of the Tower of London. It was clear that the firm values the well-being of its employees as much as it values the excellent work they produce.

I was delighted to be offered a Training Contract following the Vacation Scheme and had no doubts about accepting the offer. Having completed the Accelerated LPC prior to joining the firm, I am now coming to the end of my first seat as a Trainee Solicitor. I have spent these first six months sat in the Asset Finance team, specialising in aviation.

I have been pleasantly surprised by how much responsibility I have been given as just a first-seater. I have been tasked with preparing the first drafts of ancillary documents, and, towards the end of the six months, even the first drafts of key transaction documents. On certain transactions my supervising partner has been happy for me to take client calls by myself and I frequently liaise with local counsel. In banking seats, a common trainee task is to manage the conditions precedent checklist. This means that you are often the go-to person when someone wants an update on the progress of a particular transaction. I hadn’t anticipated that trainees would play such a vital role in the team, but you feel a real sense of pride in your work when you know your colleagues rely on you and value your contribution.

I’ve also been impressed with the investment that NRF makes into training its employees. Not only has there been plenty of trainee-specific training, but the firm regularly provides team-wide and firm-wide training sessions too. I’m glad to see that the training doesn’t stop once you qualify and that the firm will continue to invest in your development as you progress throughout your career. This training is of the highest calibre – we get to learn from the leaders in their fields, who have worked with the biggest clients on deals at the forefront of the market. I feel like I am learning at a phenomenal pace, which is exactly what I wanted from my Training Contract.

Outside of my work, I have enjoyed getting involved with the social aspects of the firm. I have joined the Tennis and Tag Rugby teams, which have been fun ways to relax after a day in the office. It has also given me the opportunity to meet a broad range of people from across the firm and start building my network, which is something that is invaluable as a trainee. Additionally, I have joined the committee of the ‘Women in NRF(WiN)’ network. It is great to see the firm committed to improving the experience and progression of women in the firm.

I am now progressing into my second seat in the Corporate, M&A and Securities team. I’m looking forward to comparing and contrasting this to the experience I had in my first seat. The rotational structure of the Training Contract ensures I gain as much experience as possible so that I can be confident when making the decision of which team I’d ultimately like to qualify into.

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