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Alice Lines is the graduate recruitment adviser at Dentons. She is based at the firm’s London office and has been at the firm for just under two years.
How did you end up in law?
After university I took a gap year to work, travel and improve my Spanish language skills. During the year I got a job in a recruitment agency that specialised in recruiting into legal services. In my role I had a lot of interaction with HR teams, so after my travels, I decided to pursue a career in HR within the legal industry. An opportunity arose to join Dentons, a truly international firm which reflects my skillset and outlook, so I was delighted to become part of the graduate recruitment team.
What are the most/least enjoyable aspects of recruiting?
Meeting so many, and such a variety of, people along the way – the only issue is trying to remember all of their names! I also love the variety in my role on a day-to-day basis. As well as the actual recruiting, I work on our marketing strategy, on and off campus, ensuring that students and graduates know about the career opportunities that Dentons has for them. I also really enjoy organising different events throughout the year.
The least enjoyable part is that, unfortunately, not everyone can get a job here and that can be a hard message to communicate.
What is the biggest challenge of the job?
There are only two of us in the graduate recruitment team – some call us a ‘duet’ – so it can be challenging to keep so many plates spinning. That guarantees that we’re never bored, though!
A less serious challenge would be knowing what year it is – always working two years ahead makes it hard to remember which year we are in!
What has been your most memorable moment in the job?
It was my first vacation scheme this summer and it was a great week. I got involved in lots of fun activities that we put on for the vacation scheme candidates – a cocktail-making session was a particular highlight. However, probably the most memorable moments overall are offering training contracts to the candidates – it’s always great to be the bearer of good news.
What are you trying to achieve at law fairs?
We will be at 14 law fairs this autumn, so do come and say hello. Our aim is to meet as many students as possible and to give them more information about Dentons and our careers opportunities. It’s so much nicer being able to discuss this with them in person rather than via emails.
We also run a mince pie and mulled wine networking evening at Christmas, and we extend invitations to those we have met and spoken to on campus.
How important is your vacation scheme as part of the recruitment process?
Our vacation scheme is an important aspect of our wider recruitment model. It is most important for the candidates themselves as we really want them to make the most of the week and experience what life is like working for the world's largest law firm. We make a significant number of training contract offers to people who have been on our vacation scheme. However, by no means are all of our offers made this way and every year we offer training contracts to candidates who have applied directly.
What is the most common mistake you see candidates making, apart from the obvious typos?
Regurgitation – we don’t want to see applicants just rehashing what is on our website and in our brochure. We write our own marketing materials, so we know it all very well and it is pretty obvious when someone repeats what we have written. We like to see that people have read and understood the information and can use it to effectively demonstrate why they have chosen to apply to us.
What are the attributes you look for in a trainee that are particularly suited to your firm?
We genuinely don’t have a ‘typical’ Dentons trainee – our trainee intake is so diverse, which mirrors the values of the firm. However, we are an ambitious firm which has undergone – and is undergoing – huge expansion, so it is important that we hire candidates who reflect that ambition and want to help continue taking the firm forward.
Do you take candidates’ non-legal work experiences into account?
Yes, absolutely. All kinds of roles can help candidates to develop transferable competencies. For example, I worked as a waitress throughout university, so I know that you can learn a great deal about resilience in that sort of environment.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of joining the legal profession?
Firstly, make sure that it really is the profession that you want to go into; it’s a huge commitment – not just a degree, but the GDL/LPC and then two years of intense training.
But if you are passionate about the profession and are determined to become a lawyer, you should go for it.
What is one key fact that candidates should know about your firm?
Dentons is now the world’s largest law firm and this expansion has been widely reported in the legal press, so that’s a pretty major fact that I would expect any candidate to know before applying for a vacation scheme place or training contract with us.
What is your dream job (other than this one!)?
A This Morning TV presenter. Holly Willoughby went to my sixth form college so when the time comes, I am ready for the call to be her replacement.
What's your desert island disc?
I love the song ‘Porcelain’ by Moby – very beach appropriate. I’m also a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac, but if pushed I would probably have to go with Moby!View Dentons's details