Case study

Emma Cheshire — Trainee solicitor

Employer
Taylor Wessing

Emma studied Philosophy at the University of Nottingham and then completed the GDL and LPC at BPP University. After completing a vacation scheme, she was offered a training contract at Taylor Wessing

How did you get your job?

I got my training contract at Taylor Wessing by applying for the 2019 vacation scheme. After completing a game-based psychometric test, I was invited to the assessment centre. This involved a partner interview, a commercial awareness assessment, and a group presentation. I particularly enjoyed the interview. It was challenging but I felt empowered to do my best.

During the vacation scheme, I sat in Tax and Private Equity. It was fantastic to be able to compare the advisory and transactional work the firm undertakes. But what I loved most was the inclusive and vibrant culture of the firm.

What’s a typical day like as a trainee?

I start by checking my emails and diary to map out what my day is going to look like. I find it important to structure my commitments because my department is very invested in my development. I have client meetings, practice-based training and I am a member of the Trainee Solicitor Committee, so being organised is key.

I have daily catch ups with my supervisor and regular team feedback, so I always work with my team to schedule the day. However, at lunch times there is always an opportunity to catch up with the other trainees on the excellent Cloud 9 rooftop.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I enjoy how the firm brings innovation to life. When you see first-hand how the different departments utilise technology to support clients, as well as being experts in their respective fields, it's extremely impressive.

What are the challenges?

I found the biggest challenge was adapting to making mistakes. However, I have learnt that constructive criticism is designed to help you develop. Having a strong network that helps you learn, and grow, is all part of the journey into becoming a fully-fledged solicitor.

In what way is your degree relevant?

My degree involved breaking down complex concepts into simplistic form. This is helpful in my legal career because it helps me unpick legal challenges and break them down into digestible content.

How has your role developed?

As I have become more established, I have been given more autonomy and responsibility. Since day one at the firm, I was told to express myself and have been encouraged to get involved in as much as possible.

In terms of my career ambitions, I have always loved motivating and teaching others. I think developing the next generation of lawyers is both rewarding and inspiring, so I would love to be a talent partner one day.

How do I get into law?

  • Put yourself out there. Law firms want to hire you, for you. Focus on what makes you unique and what you can bring to the firm.
  • Tailor your applications. Think about how what you have achieved during studying and outside of it mirrors the firm's values and culture.
  • Be organised. Studying and applying for training contracts is full on. Organise your time and work on applications without distractions.

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