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Meet the recruiter

Jolie Lam

Jolie Lam

Jolie Lam (she/her) is the early careers adviser at Clyde & Co LLP. She is based at the London office and has been at the firm for four months.

What has been your most memorable moment in the job?

My most memorable moment was the launch of our new recruitment process, which involved removing the normal essay style questions from the application form and introducing a new, immersive strengths-based video assessment so we can get to know candidates better while also enabling us to assess an applicant's potential. Candidates will also have a better experience and gain deeper insights into the firm during the assessment.

Does your firm run a vacation scheme? Will it be in person or virtual?

Clyde & Co offers three vacation schemes: a one-week winter programme aimed at finalists and graduates; and a two-week spring and summer programme, which is aimed at students in their penultimate year of study and above.

We recruit trainees exclusively via our vacation schemes and all programmes will take a virtual or hybrid approach depending on the government guidelines on covid-19.

Our social mobility programme, Bright Futures, is aimed at first-year law and second-year non-law students. It is a nine-month mentoring programme for from a lower socioeconomic background status to offer them the guidance needed to embark on a career in law.

The programme also includes one-week’s paid work experience and an opportunity to be fast tracked to a vacation scheme assessment centre at the end of the programme.

What kind of work can candidates expect to experience during the vacation scheme?

Our vacation scheme students are placed into one department for the duration of the scheme based on a preference form they are asked to complete before joining. During the scheme, students will be able to get involved with real work, from observing cases, drafting responses, providing advice and preparing research.

We also highly recommend that the students spend time networking and meeting a broad range of people, from trainees right up to senior partners. As well as social events, the early careers team will provide interactive sessions to help students upskill and prepare for their training contract interview at the end of the scheme.

What key skills does your firm look for in candidates when they apply?

Motivation and commitment are important at Clyde & Co because having the right attitude is key. We are a progressive and entrepreneurial firm so anyone ambitious and hardworking will thrive here. We also consider candidates across all backgrounds as we believe everyone can bring a fresh new perspective to the firm.

How is the firm adopting the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE)?

We are working through our approach to the SQE to ensure that we continue to provide a high-quality training programme that supports our future talent and the firm’s broader diversity and inclusion agenda.

Our current proposal is to transition all our prospective 2024 trainees to the SQE route. We are continuing to collaborate with The University of Law and are currently working through finalising our transition plans/SQE model.

As it currently stands, anyone due to join us in 2022 or 2023 will follow the existing training contract model and Legal Practice Course route. Financial support will be provided under both routes.

What is the most common way that candidates let themselves down in their applications?

When candidates submit a generic application – it’s easy to tell whether a candidate has put the time and effort into their application.

My top piece of advice for candidates is to be specific and make sure they tailor their application to the firm that they are applying to. To stand out, research thoroughly and look wider than the company website and quoting the key facts. Be distinctive and link everything they talk about back to the firm.

Should candidates use examples of non-legal work experience in their applications?

All work experience or volunteering work is important and can offer a wealth of transferrable skills. If a candidate can draw on these skills and relate them to how it can help them succeed as a lawyer, they stand a good chance.

Also, as a result of covid-19, many firms, including Clyde & Co now offer virtual work experience which is a great way for students to gain deeper insights into the firm’s culture and the work they could get involved in as a trainee.

How important is commercial awareness and how can candidates show they have this skill in their applications?

Commercial awareness is very important at Clyde & Co as we advise clients internationally and across a broad range of sectors. Candidates should keep up with current affairs by looking at the news, other reputable publications and the firm’s social media.

If a candidate can make it a habit to stay up to date with current affairs and build an understanding of where their interests lie, this will make it easier to decide which firm is the best fit for them and help them to stand out throughout the recruitment process.

How did the firm adapt to covid-19?

Before spring 2020, our whole assessment process was only face to face. As a result of covid-19, the firm incorporated virtual assessment centres via TopScore while retaining the interactive elements including the candidate briefing and trainee meet and greet conducted via Zoom. This ensures candidates were supported throughout the assessment centre and were given the opportunity to network in a relaxed environment.

We recently won ‘The Best Virtual Assessment Experience’ award at the Targetjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards.

The firm has also adopted a hybrid working approach, so we are required to go into the office two to four days a week depending on the team and role.

What's your guilty pleasure?

Having some me time!