Mathilde was offered a training contract with Taylor Wessing after completing a summer vacation scheme. Find out what it’s like to be a trainee solicitor
What course did you study and where?
I completed a degree in English Law and French Law after spending two years at Kings College London, and two years at Sorbonne University in Paris.
How did you get your job?
Halfway through my third year of university I applied for summer vacation schemes at several London law firms. I wanted first-hand experience of what it would be like to work in commercial law, and to put myself to the test in a professional context.
I got to spend two insightful weeks at Taylor Wessing, and following this the firm offered me a training contract. I then had to complete one year of further study - the legal practice course (LPC) - before I started working for the firm full time in September 2017. I would highly recommend this kind of work experience. Whatever you end up doing, it ensures you won't be going in completely blind on the first day of your new job.
What’s a typical day like as a trainee solicitor?
I am currently working in the real estate department, on the disputes side. The great thing about this practice is that my team works on a range of cases. In a day I can be asked to assist on a variety of issues - whether it's researching a tricky point of property law or writing a piece of advice for a client, drafting an application to Court, attending meetings with barristers, working on a commercial lease renewal claim for a landlord, or helping out with a service charge dispute for a tenant.
Typical trainee responsibilities include research and carrying out document reviews, but also corresponding with all the different parties involved in a dispute or transaction. I have to be really adaptable, organised and communicative.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My favourite part of this job is working closely with such a diverse and high-achieving pool of individuals - you're constantly learning from others. I've also had the opportunity to get involved in plenty of exciting client events and charity initiatives.
What are the challenges?
The hours can be long and the work very technical. You have to be focused and you can't afford to procrastinate.
In what way is your degree relevant?
A law degree isn't essential to pursue a career in law, as non-law students coming into this field will complete a conversion course before the LPC.
In my case, I have found my law degree useful as it has helped me to develop strong analytical and written communication skills. The LPC complemented this well, in teaching me more of the practical skills required (like advocacy and legal drafting).
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