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Meet the Lawyer

We can’t think of a better way to find out what it’s like to be a trainee or newly-qualified solicitor than by talking direct to the people who are already doing it. We have interviewed a variety of current and former trainees at different firms to give you a taste of how things could be if you were in their position. Read on for the lowdown on how these individuals made the transition from student to baby lawyer.


Meet more lawyers

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard

  • Aster Crawshaw

History graduate Aster Crashaw has long since learned that the outcome for the client is always more important than pride or precedent. Read on for his lawyerly wisdom.


Ashurst LLP

Ashurst LLP

  • Sonica Tolani

Having already lived in three countries growing up, working on international deals that appear on the front page of the Financial Times and the globetrotting that this entails suits Sonica Tolani down to the ground. Here are her tips on how to be successful in the corporate world.


Baker & McKenzie

Baker & McKenzie

  • Jason Raeburn

As an intellectual property solicitor at Baker & McKenzie, Jason Raeburn’s work regularly centres on cutting-edge technologies and business models. Read on for more on the opportunities and experiences that come with working at such a forward-looking firm.


Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird

  • Claire Slater

Passionate about the sciences, Claire Slater’s career in the commercial department at Bird & Bird has been made all the more stimulating by the various opportunities that have arisen to apply her scientific expertise. Read on to learn more about the firm’s culture of professional development.


Bond Dickinson

Bond Dickinson

  • Sammy Hill

I was instantly handed my own case load and encouraged to liaise directly with clients, other solicitors and third-party advisers to progress matters.


Bristows LLP

Bristows LLP

  • Tom Ohta

If intellectual property is your bag, then Bristows could be your perfect home. Tom Ohta has certainly found it to be so, as he describes his path from eager trainee to fully qualified lawyer.


Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP

  • Lauren Millward

Working on a mix of contentious and non-contentious work, Lauren Millward has thrived since joining Browne Jacobson. Read on for an insight into the firm where karaoke is a Christmas party guarantee.


Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

  • Lucy Scott

Former one-time children’s party host Lucy Scott chose Charles Russell Speechlys LLP for its winning combination of high-quality work with a work/life balance. Read on to find out more about Lucy’s career in corporate and the firm’s qualification process.


Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP

  • Tom Gorrard-Smith

Tom Gorrard-Smith’s work in Clyde & Co’s maritime department has seen him work with people from all over the world and even become a published writer in his field. Read on to learn more about the law and what Fozzie Bear once described as “the big blue wet thing”.


CMS Cameron McKenna LLP

CMS Cameron McKenna LLP

  • Lee Donovan

An exciting secondment to CMS Cameron McKenna’s Moscow office preceded Lee Donovan’s qualification into the firm’s energy department. Read on for more on this truly international firm and its highly regarded approach to training.


Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP

  • Joshua Smith

French-speaking Joshua Smith details the highlights of his Dechert experience and offers advice on how to succeed in your own training contract quest. Bonne chance!


Dentons

Dentons

  • Rachael Dixon

Corporate solicitor Rachael Dixon has a lot of hard-earned knowledge to share – from providing you with detailed insight into what practising commercial law at Dentons is really like, to the best ways of securing work experience. Step this way for her invaluable advice.


DLA Piper UK LLP

DLA Piper UK LLP

  • Jack Randles

After an exciting training contract which involved a secondment to Hong Kong, Jack Randles qualified into DLA Piper's intellectual property department. Read on for more about trade marks, copyright, patents and everything else that a career in IP entails.


DWF LLP

DWF LLP

  • Chris Young

Despite the potential upheaval of a merger, Chris Young’s first seat in corporate has been a wholly positive experience in which he was rarely, if ever, consigned to photocopying duty. Read on to learn more about life at DWF.


Edwards Wildman Palmer UK LLP

Edwards Wildman Palmer UK LLP

  • William Slaiding

Will’s mega secondment opportunities as a trainee (12 months-worth) have informed his qualified role, teaching him about “commercial reality”. Read on for more insight into the intersection between business and law.


Foot Anstey LLP

Foot Anstey LLP

  • George Pawley

Although he has no immediate plans to scale Mt Everest, George Pawley enjoys conquering legal problems and climbing the legal ladder. Find out more about his career progression at regional favourite Foot Anstey.


Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP

  • James Clamp

Basing an entire career on the desire to be a movie-based, military-lawyer type may not seem like a great way to start, but things have worked out beautifully for James Clamp, real estate lawyer at Freeths.


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

  • Nick Ames

A promising beginning as a tennis scholar in the United States was just the start for Nick, who soon found his way back to the United Kingdom and life as a Freshfields lawyer. Game, set, law!


Gibson Dunn

Gibson Dunn

  • Alex Lloyd

Alex Lloyd has never been afraid to go off the beaten track, whether in finding the right job or the perfect (if less famous) Bob Dylan record. Now a corporate solicitor with his own marketing budget, Alex has plenty of sound career advice to share. Read on to find out more about life at highly entrepreneurial firm Gibson Dunn.


Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP

  • Jack Murphy

An impressive array of work experience, including mini-pupillages, shadowing a judge and promotions for a radio station, helped Jack to secure his training contract at this northwest stalwart.


Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells

  • Sanjay Dave

Don’t let the cavernous architecture of Hogan Lovells' London office give you the wrong impression – its friendly and supportive culture soon made Sanjay Dave feel at home. Read on to find out more about the firm’s first-rate training contracts.


Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell

  • Emma McPeake

Real estate lawyer Emma McPeake hopes to visit Antarctica one day; in the meantime, excitement can be found in her dream firm, Irwin Mitchell. Read on to learn more about her career and the advice she has to offer.


Jones Day

Jones Day

  • Chris Slack

Big real estate deals have been a real highlight of the well-travelled Chris Slack’s training contract so far. Read on to learn more about the non-rotational training system at Jones Day.


K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates LLP

  • Oliver Howard

International work, great client exposure, interesting colleagues and an emphasis on trainee development all combine to make K&L Gates a great place to be, as Oliver will attest.


Kingsley Napley LLP

Kingsley Napley LLP

  • David Rowntree

It would be disingenuous not to mention that David is both lawyer and drummer in Blur, although these days he is able to devote more time to lawyering than to rock stardom. Read on to learn how he combines the two.


Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

  • Phil Kurek

International arbitration specialist and Korean cooking enthusiast, Phil enjoys glamorous travel as part of a fulfilling career in the dispute resolution department of Kirkland & Ellis. Read on to learn more.


Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP

  • Ben Pykett

Annual global banking retreats in glamorous cities such as Barcelona and Stockholm seem reason enough to enjoy one’s job, but Ben offers many more reasons why working at Linklaters is so fulfilling.


Mayer Brown International LLP

Mayer Brown International LLP

  • Simon Shaw

Spanish skills honed from working across South America have proven very useful for Simon Shaw in his dealing with Latin American insurance disputes. Read on for more insight into life at international firm Mayer Brown.


Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright

  • Natalie Coverdale

Natalie offers the lowdown on the immensely rewarding work and diverse client base on offer at Norton Rose Fulbright, along with Hawaiian-themed evenings featuring partners in grass skirts.


Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP

  • Will George

Organised with military precision, Will’s route to law was orderly and clearly defined. Learn more about his role as a combatant - sorry, litigation associate - at Orrick.


Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke

  • Daniel Hutton

Daniel is clued up about the fact that an on-site gym and restaurant do not a good work/life balance make – rather, he values Osborne Clarke’s true appreciation of its importance, among many other great things.


Ropes & Gray

Ropes & Gray

  • Jack Bodkin

Jack Bodkin’s language skills, particularly in Mandarin, have served him well as he has built his career at US firm Ropes & Gray, a firm with real international pedigree. Read on for his insights into corporate life.


Shearman & Sterling (London) LLP

Shearman & Sterling (London) LLP

  • Philip Stopford

Shhh! Don’t tell everyone, but Philip thinks that Shearman & Sterling is one of the best-kept secrets in the City. Read on to find out more about life as an associate at this hidden gem of a firm.


Shoosmiths

Shoosmiths

  • Megan Holden

Megan Holden thought carefully about where she wanted to train, and Shoosmiths ticked all the right boxes, especially in terms of its supportive culture and great work. Read on to find out more about her path to qualified litigator.


Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP

  • Peter Vas

High-flying Peter used the unusual fact of his having a pilot’s licence to good effect, helping him bag a training contract with his preferred firm Sidley. Other top tips on how to differentiate yourself within.


Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons LLP

  • Erin Rose

Erin Rose is a strong advocate of work experience, especially as a means of distinguishing yourself from the many excellent candidates vying for training contracts. Read on for more advice and insight into life as a Simmons’ trainee.


Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP

  • Joseph Hone

Joseph’s first experience at Skadden was defined by the candid approach the firm took – “There was an honesty about the people and the process at Skadden which was lacking in some of the other firms I had spent time in” – and he’s now happy to be training in that very same environment.


Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May

  • Samantha Breedveld

Samantha Breedveld has an excellent set of tips that, with the benefit of hindsight, she wished she had followed in her pre-training contract life. Heed her advice in advance and read on to learn more about the exciting life of law at Slaughter and May.


Stephenson Harwood LLP

Stephenson Harwood LLP

  • James Foley-Comer

An international firm, with opportunities for overseas secondment, will appeal to many. James explains why shipping giant Stephenson Harwood is a great firm from which to launch a legal career.


Stevens & Bolton LLP

Stevens & Bolton LLP

  • Tom Collins

Since starting his training contract at Stevens & Bolton LLP, Tom Collins has experienced a high level of responsibility across a range of practice areas, from corporate & commercial to intellectual property to private client. Read on to learn more about working at "the City firm outside the City".


TLT LLP

TLT LLP

  • Ben Jackson

Ben Jackson was attracted to TLT by its reputation and those of its lawyers whom he had met. Now one himself, he describes what else makes the firm a great place to train and the work he has been exposed to so far.


Travers Smith LLP

Travers Smith LLP

  • Tom Hartwright

Tom Hartwright of Travers Smith makes the point that firms want more than “head-down drones” – they also want people who are fun to work with, so don’t let your extracurricular life suffer. Read on for more sound advice, as well as details of Tom’s career as a private equity associate.


Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

  • Giovanni Castronovo

Originally from Hertfordshire, Giovanni Castronovo has long harboured an ambition to practise law in the City. Now a solicitor at corporate firm Trowers & Hamlins, Giovanni specialises in the highly varied field of commercial property. Read on for a glimpse inside his career.


Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP

  • Muhna Rehman

Muhna loves the fact that Weightmans offers the chance to learn from leaders in their fields, who are also approachable and never make you feel “silly asking a question”. Read on for more on what it means to train at this top 50 firm.


Weil, Gotshal & Manges

Weil, Gotshal & Manges

  • Ellie Marques

Choosing tax law over a life in the lab was a no-brainer for Ellie Marques, Weil associate and carbonara cook.


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