updated on 07 September 2020
When did you attend LawCareersNetLIVE?
I attended last year’s LawCareersNetLIVE event in Bristol. I was in my third year at Exeter University at the time, studying English. As a non-law final year student, this was my first serious round of vacation scheme applications, so I was keen to get as much exposure to the law firms I’d applied to as possible ahead of any potential assessment centres the following January. I had made applications to Simmons & Simmons and Osborne Clarke, both of whom were attending, so I intended to speak to their representatives on the day to glean as much insight into the firms as possible!
What did you get up to on the day?
The day began with a welcome session which everyone attended. I didn’t know anyone else going to the event, so this was a great opportunity to network and chat to the other attendees on my table. We each had a schedule for the day, which included the firm-specific workshops we would be attending, along with breaks for lunch, refreshments and networking.
Each firm that attended had their own stand and there were plenty of opportunities throughout the day to move around the stands and chat to the graduate recruitment team, current trainees and even partners who were there to represent their firm. I made sure I came with some specific and well-researched questions to ask the firms – there were hundreds of students at the event, so I really wanted to make sure I spoke to everyone I had intended to speak to and get my questions answered.
A particular highlight of the day was the workshop on employment law hosted by Simmons & Simmons. This was an area of law I already had a prior interest in, but as a non-law student I wanted to learn more about how it works in practice. The workshop was run by a partner and an associate, and they discussed the very topical #MeToo movement and how this has impacted employment law and the types of case they work on. Simmons & Simmons is top-tier for its work in employment law, so I really felt I was learning from the best! There were also opportunities to break away into groups to discuss and ask questions to the firm’s lawyers one-to-one, which made the session interactive and engaging.
Another highlight of the day was the fellow students I met. Many of them I have since connected with on LinkedIn and it has been great to follow their legal journeys. I do think we can learn just as much from our peers in the process of pursuing training contracts as we can from firms and graduate recruitment – we’re all in it together after all and you never know when you’ll come across these people again in the future as practising lawyers!
How did LawCareersNetLIVE help you to secure a training contract?
Having thoroughly enjoyed the employment law workshop I attended with Simmons & Simmons, I took detailed notes to reflect on what I had learned ahead of my assessment centre at the firm the following month. In my partner interview, I referenced the LawCareersNetLIVE event and the workshop I had attended, mentioning the partners I had spoken with and how the intersections of social justice movements and employment law fascinated me. I really believe this gave me an edge over other applicants, as I had gained such in-depth knowledge of the firm’s practice area – more than anything I could have found on their website, for example.
After securing a place on the firm’s vacation scheme, I arranged one-to-one meetings with employment lawyers at the firm so I could ask additional questions relating to this area of law. I believe my experience at LawCareersNetLIVE allowed me to ask more considered and informed questions. I was lucky enough to secure a training contract offer at the firm after this and I’m sure my prior interactions with the firm at LawCareensNetLIVE gave me the confidence and the firm-specific insight to really succeed!
Ellie is a future trainee at Addleshaw Goddard. She is currently studying the PGDL at BPP in Bristol, having graduated from the University of Exeter in 2020 with an undergraduate degree in English.