Case study

Brooke Gibson — Trainee solicitor

Travers Smith

Brooke is a second seat trainee currently sitting in the tax team at Travers Smith. She studied law at the University of Glasgow, which is also where she grew up, before moving to London to complete the LPC and commence her training contract

Why did you decide on a career in law?

Primarily, I knew I needed a challenging, fast-paced career. The nature of the work we do is constantly developing and evolving, which creates challenging but stimulating work. Additionally, completing work experience demonstrated that I enjoyed the balance of working as part of a team as well as individually.

What attracted you to the firm?

I applied to Travers Smith because of its excellent training, outstanding work, and room-sharing system. After completing a vacation scheme, I saw first-hand how incredibly friendly everyone is and I was eager to work alongside a group of like-minded and intelligent people who create an excellent culture. I knew from my vacation scheme that Travers Smith was somewhere I would be given all the tools to succeed.

What was the application process like?

The application process at Travers is straightforward (and refreshingly entails no psychometric testing or assessment centre). I had to submit my CV and cover letter. I then received an invitation for an interview with a graduate recruitment partner. The interviews are super discursive and although they are tough; the partners are all very friendly and interested in getting to know you and how you think. Following the vacation scheme, I received a training contract offer.

What does a typical day look like?

As with most jobs, there are certain elements of routine to my day. I arrive at the office between 9-9.30am and have breakfast in Braithwaites (our staff cafeteria). I will then look through my emails and write down my to-do list for the day. I will start my working day with my most urgent tasks, which are often client work such as a deal I am assisting on. Lunch is usually with other trainees in Braithwaites. In tax, there are often longer-term research tasks that I spend a few hours on in the afternoon. I typically log off around 7pm (however, this can vary depending on your department).

What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy how varied the work and clients are. I love getting to understand a business and the specific legal issues that follow due to the nature and jurisdiction of the business we are working with. Additionally, I thoroughly enjoy working with partners and associates who want to see me progress and succeed, and are willing to spend time helping me understand tasks.

What are the challenges?

The jump from law school to being a trainee is a big learning curve. One of the big challenges is working with a variety of people and understanding their different working styles. This can change from department to department and is something that you need to get on top of as you rotate through your training contract.

There are a lot of stereotypes about working in law, can you debunk a myth?

There is a stereotype that you have to come from certain backgrounds to enter the legal industry. The legal sector is beginning to move away from this with a heightened understanding on the benefit of offering training contracts to students from lower socio-economic and diverse backgrounds. From my experience at Travers Smith so far, I would say that there are a diverse range of people from a lot of different backgrounds - there is room for everyone at Travers.

Why should future trainees consider Travers Smith?

Travers is an excellent place to train as everyone truly wants you to succeed and grow professionally - there really is no such thing as a silly question here. The firm is encouraging, kind, impressive, hardworking, and above all, progressive. It is a firm for the future.