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Lizzie Arthey is the graduate recruitment and development advisor at Weil.
What drew me to a career in graduate recruitment is that it allows me to interact with a wide range of interesting people. I enjoy meeting candidates in person, so a highlight for me since joining Weil has been hosting our first, post-pandemic, in-person insight days and vacation schemes. After two years of hosting everything virtually it was fantastic to meet people face to face again.
Our 2023 vacation schemes will take place in our London office. It was great hosting our 2022 vacation schemes in person. There was a real buzz among the vacation scheme participants and everyone across the office.
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.
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.
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 – and therefore it gives vacation scheme participants an idea of the kind of pro bono work they can expect to get involved in during their training contract.
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 who 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.
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.
Commercial law brings together the two worlds of law and business and 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.
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.
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 and 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!
An important first step when considering a career in law is identifying the kind of law firm you’d like to work for. Applying for training contracts takes a lot of time and commitment – the research that goes into it is extensive.
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 is 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. At Weil, trainees really are in the spotlight. 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.
I’m a big fan of The Rolling Stones. I saw them live in Hyde Park this summer and they were amazing!