Case study

Aiden Ang — Trainee solicitor

White & Case LLP

Aiden studied for a law degree at the University of Cambridge. He is now a trainee at with White & Case

How did you get your job?

I participated in the White & Case vacation scheme and received an offer for a training contract on completion. The vacation scheme is not only a good way of demonstrating that you are a suitable candidate for the job, but also for you to find out whether you are the right fit for the firm.

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

Work can be pretty varied and depends on which department you are in. In a transactional department you will be involved in process management, whereas in a contentious department you are more likely to get a chance to do legal research.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Being involved in market-leading transactions that make the headlines in the financial news is always exciting, especially as I become more integrated in the deal team as I get more experienced.

Working with people I genuinely like spending time with also makes the job a lot more enjoyable and is a big part of why I look forward to being in the office.

What are the challenges?

Working in a city law firm is fundamentally different to studying law at university. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges is to adapt your mindset when you start as a trainee to ensure that you are considering issues from a commercial perspective, as opposed to an academic perspective.

In what way is your degree relevant?

My law degree was good for building up the legal knowledge and skills that you would expect a commercial lawyer to have, but beyond that I had to work hard in acquiring commercial knowledge and acumen that a law degree usually does not provide.

How has your role developed?

Because the training contract is structured into four six month seats in four different departments, I become more experienced and confident as I move in to each seat. I have also been able to experience different areas of commercial law, which is a great aspect of the training contract system. I receive more substantial legal work as I become more experienced and am able to contribute more to the deal team. I will draw on my different seat experiences to decide which area of law I want to qualify in by the end of the training contract, which will allow me to be a confident associate.

How do I get into law?

  • Be proactive at university. Go to networking events, take part in socials and attend careers fairs.
  • Make sure you do your due diligence and research the firms you are applying for thoroughly. Be coherent in your applications and if you want to talk about an area of law you are interested in, make sure the firm you are applying to actually has a substantial practice in that area.
  • Interview practice goes a long way and is often the deciding factor between equally good candidates. If you get nervous at interviews or have a tendency to speak too quickly, try and do a couple of practice interviews, either with your friends or with your university careers service.

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