Case study

Leah Mereb — Trainee solicitor

Employer
Norton Rose Fulbright

Leah studied Law at the University of Cambridge before working as a paralegal in-house and in private practice. She’s now a trainee at Norton Rose Fulbright

Why did you decide on a career in law?

I carried out some work experience when I was younger and enjoyed the problem-solving element. I also liked that there is a nice balance of working individually and as part of a team.

What attracted you to the firm?

One of the things that most attracted me to the firm was how international it is - both in terms of work and also the fact that there are so many NRF offices all around the world.

What was the application process like?

I applied for a vacation scheme, which involved an application form and assessment day where there were interviews, a written test and a negotiation exercise. The graduate recruitment team involved in the assessment day were all welcoming and my interviewers seemed really engaged in the interview. They asked interesting questions both about me personally and my previous experience. There was a focus on showing a genuine interest in NRF rather than being expected to know everything about law.

What’s a typical day like as a trainee solicitor?

It typically starts with going through emails and deciding what to prioritise and checking if there are any urgent tasks. Typical tasks involve carrying out research, sitting in on client calls and helping to draft agreements and advice and liaising with foreign counsel.

What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

I like how varied it is - in terms of the actual work we do every day and also the different types of clients and their respective industries.

What are the challenges?

Navigating peoples work styles - for example, some people are happy for you to take charge or exercise your judgment in some matters, whereas others take a more hands on supervisory approach.

Can you debunk a myth about working in law?

That only people from certain backgrounds can go into law and succeed in this industry. The legal space is finally starting to recognise the importance and value of people from diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds and this is slowly being reflected in practice.

What are your career ambitions?

As I am only in my second seat, I’m looking forward to widening my experience and learning more about different areas of law and eventually being able to take on more of a leadership/central role in transactions.

Why should future trainees consider applying to the firm?

For one, the international secondment opportunities. I am currently on an international secondment in Dubai. It’s been a great chance to learn about a different work culture, work on interesting matters, live in a different country for six months and meet a lot of new people.

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