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Meet the recruiter

Lizzie Arthey

Lizzie Arthey

Lizzie Arthey is the early careers and development advisor at Weil. 

What has been your most memorable moment in the job?

There are so many enjoyable moments working in graduate recruitment at Weil. The first in-person vacation schemes after the pandemic were definitely a highlight, we were so excited to meet everyone in person and there was a real buzz in the office. My favourite part of the role is getting to know candidates through the vacation scheme, making training contract offers and then watching those people join the firm as trainees – watching the career journeys of the people we recruit is really rewarding.

Outside of the day job, seeing Elton John in the Weil O2 box was definitely a memorable moment!

Does your firm run a vacation scheme?

Weil runs two vacation schemes – one in spring and one in summer. Both schemes are two weeks long and participants get paid £750 per week. The vacation scheme is a great way to get a taste for what life as a trainee at Weil would be like, and following the vacation scheme, you’ll be considered for a training contract at the firm.

How important is your vacation scheme as part of the recruitment process?

We recruit the majority of our trainees from our vacation schemes. It’s an invaluable experience for candidates to gain exposure to the firm for two weeks. It’s also a two-way process – we get the opportunity to assess the participants, but they also have the chance to get a feel for the firm and see whether Weil is a place they’d like to work. The most important part of a vacation scheme is your attitude – we’re looking for people that are proactive and enthusiastic, and demonstrate potential. With our small trainee intake and lean deal teams, trainees are an integral part of the firm, and during the vacation scheme, you’ll get involved in trainee level tasks.

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

Candidates can expect to get involved in real-life trainee tasks. They’re allocated work by their supervisor relating to matters that they’re working on, which may include reviewing documents and contracts or getting involved in client calls. Therefore, your contribution is important and we want you to demonstrate that you can step up to the challenge. To show you’re proactive, you can offer to help people in the team you’re in and willingly take on work. Some of these tasks might be unfamiliar to you but we’re looking for people that are keen learners and are receptive to feedback. At a firm like Weil you get a lot of responsibility as a trainee. 

Vacation scheme participants also take part in a number of assessments, which include a group client pitch presentation and a group negotiation exercise, which allows them to collaborate with other participants in addition to an individual pro bono research project. Pro bono is a big part of what we do at Weil – it really is ingrained in our culture. Therefore, vacation scheme participants learn about the kind of pro bono work they can expect to get involved in during their training contract.  

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

A career at Weil is challenging, technical and requires trainees to work under pressure. With this in mind, we’re looking for bright candidates who can use their initiative, are comfortable in the spotlight and thrive when challenged and placed out of their comfort zone. Successful candidates will need to be business-minded with plenty of entrepreneurial flair and commercial acumen, as well as the ability to work effectively in a team.

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

Absolutely! You should include all work experience that you’ve undertaken in your application form – we’re looking for the transferable skills you’ll have gained from your experiences. For example, law is a client-focused profession so skills that candidates gain from customer-focused roles, such as verbal communication and active listening are highly transferable.

I’d recommend checking out our virtual work experience programmes to increase your understanding of what lawyers do and the kind of work you might encounter during a vacation scheme. We offer a virtual experience programme through Forage which allows you to gain hands-on experience of the type of tasks a trainee would get involved in while working in our private equity, finance and restructuring teams.

How important is commercial awareness? How can candidates start developing their commercial acumen?

Commercial law brings together the two worlds of law and business. Therefore, having a strong interest in commercial affairs is important. As a lawyer, you’re expected to give legal advice in the context of your client’s business while taking into account other socioeconomic factors. Therefore, we’re looking for candidates that can demonstrate they have a high-level understanding of how businesses operate, as well as the social, economic, and political factors that affect law firms and their clients.

I’d encourage candidates to put a couple of hours aside each week to read up on commercial issues. Furthermore, looking into companies and deals will help broaden your knowledge. Having a genuine interest in the topics you’re researching will make your application and interview answers more informed and compelling.

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

Trainees who join the firm from September 2024 onwards will qualify via the SQE route. We’ve partnered with The University of Law to deliver the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) and SQE1 and 2 preparation courses and exams, providing law and non-law graduates with excellent training and continuous development. We also offer full sponsorship of the PGDL and SQE1 and 2 in addition to an annual maintenance grant of £20,000 per year of study.

How can candidates interact with Weil if they are interested in finding out more about the firm?

We’ve put together a comprehensive programme of virtual and in-person events, giving potential applicants the chance to meet our people, build their network, and learn about our culture. This includes insight days and diversity-focused insight evenings in the office, application workshops, and upskilling sessions that you can join virtually. Find out more via the firm’s website. We’ll also be attending virtual webinars with different companies, like LawCareers.Net!

What advice would you give to anyone interested in a career at your firm?

An important first step when considering a career in law is identifying the kind of law firm you’d like to work for. Writing a stand-out application for a vacation scheme or training contract takes a lot of time and commitment – the research that goes into it is extensive. The best applications are very well researched and tailored specifically to Weil.

If you’re interested in Weil, a few factors you may want to consider is our small trainee intake, the nature of the work that’s done here and our client base. For example, our smaller trainee intake means that you get a higher level of responsibility. If you’re the type of person who enjoys a challenge, then Weil might be the firm for you. Throughout the training contract, trainees are given the opportunity to get involved in complicated and exciting work, all while being supported by a network of people including a supervisor, a partner mentor and graduate recruitment.

What’s your favourite TV show?

Recently, I’ve been absolutely hooked on Succession!