Case study

Kirila Bezinska — Trainee solicitor

Employer
Norton Rose Fulbright
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Kirila studied law at Queen Mary University before completing an accelerated Legal Practice Course (LPC) at BPP University. She’s now a trainee solicitor at Norton Rose Fulbright

How did you get your job?

I applied for Norton Rose Fulbright’s training contract through the firm’s graduate recruitment website.

The first step was to submit an online application form. I was then invited to attend an assessment day, which consisted of a group activity and an interview with two of the firm’s partners.

What’s a typical day like as a trainee?

I start the day by compiling a to-do list and working through my tasks on a priority-basis. The types of tasks that fill up my day often involve liaising with clients and corresponding counsel, drafting documents and project managing large transactions. I regularly find myself communicating with a number of associates, business support staff and partners on a range of matters - it really is a team effort.

I am also often invited to participate in client calls, internal training sessions and social events such as team quizzes.

What do you enjoy about being a trainee solicitor?

I enjoy working as part of a team of industry-leading lawyers to assist global clients with their sophisticated legal needs. The type of legal work I have been exposed to at Norton Rose Fulbright is varied, fast-paced and intellectually rigorous.

A high level of responsibility is also something I was given right from the start of my training contract. This has been a particularly rewarding part of my training, as it has allowed me to develop my legal and commercial understanding at a rapid pace.

My colleagues are very approachable and friendly. It has been easy to socialise and feel part of the team. I receive regular feedback on my work, and my colleagues and the firm really take care to ensure that trainees receive excellent training and support. This has definitely contributed to my positive experience at the firm so far and kept morale high throughout, even during busy periods.

What are the challenges?

A key challenge facing trainee solicitors is to overcome the steep learning curve that is an inevitable part of transitioning from legal education to legal practice. This adjustment requires trainee solicitors to be intellectually curious, flexible and resilient. There is a need to communicate effectively with colleagues, have the confidence to ask questions and accept that making mistakes is also part of the learning process.

In what way is your degree relevant?

My law degree developed my legal writing, research and critical reasoning skills. These are skills that I use in my role on a daily basis.

How has your role developed?

I started my legal career as a paralegal. I was fortunate to work with an experienced and supportive team of in-house lawyers. It was there that I began to develop my legal skills and a set of key soft skills (including effective time management and clear communication) that are vital to succeeding as a trainee solicitor.

At Norton Rose Fulbright, I have continued to develop my technical legal knowledge, commercial awareness and the skills required to provide an excellent service to our clients. My ambitions are now to take on further responsibility throughout my training contract and develop the skills needed to succeed as a qualified lawyer.

How do I get a career in law?

  • Work experience/extra-curricular activities at university – it’s important to gain as much work experience as possible, whether this is directly related to the law or otherwise, in order to develop the confidence and skills required to work in a fast-paced office environment.
  • Networking - it’s essential to make connections both on a personal and professional level and not be afraid to show your personality. This will ensure that those considering you for a role can really imagine you fitting in and contributing to the firm’s culture.
  • Persistence - securing your dream legal role may not happen right away. It is important to continue to build your experience until the right opportunity materialises.

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