Viraen studied Law at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge. He’s now a trainee solicitor with White & Case
How did you get your job?
I participated in a vacation scheme at White & Case during my second year of university. It was a brilliant experience that allowed me to understand the ethos and culture of the firm. I felt comfortable and reassured that it was the right firm for me.
I am a believer that applicants should not simply chase an offer, but should also think critically about whether or not they fit the firm they are applying to. The vacation scheme provides the perfect opportunity for applicants to make that assessment.
What’s a typical day like as a trainee solicitor?
One of the best things about being a trainee at White & Case is that there is no typical day. Each day presents new, challenging work, typically encompassing different clients and jurisdictions. I would say the common denominator between my days as a trainee solicitor is intellectually stimulating work, carried out in close-knit teams.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I enjoy the international nature of the work that we do at White & Case. Working with a diverse group of colleagues and clients across our global network not only results in a superior work product, by leveraging upon the different abilities of the wider team, but has also provided many enriching personal experiences.
For example, my first work trip to Germany, which I embarked upon only a month after I joined the firm, was not only valuable in a professional sense, but allowed me to forge friendships across a global network. I look forward to my guaranteed overseas seat, which will allow me to spend six months in another White & Case office.
What are the challenges?
Given the breadth of work the firm does for clients situated in different time zones across the world, it can be challenging to meet speedy deadlines and to manage expectations when staffed on a number of matters simultaneously. In such situations, communication is key and it is crucial the people you are working with are aware of your other commitments, so other trainees can be lined up to cover your role should the need arise.
In what way is your degree relevant?
As I am currently sitting with the disputes team, my law degree has been incredibly relevant to the work that I have been doing. In particular, I find myself drawing upon my contract and tort law university modules.
Moreover, the legal research and writing skills that I developed while studying the Legal Practice Course (LPC) have been tremendously useful throughout my training contract, as trainees are tasked with legal research and drafting tasks in most practice groups of the firm.
How has your role developed?
Having nearly completed half of my training contract, I feel I have very much become a valuable part of the White & Case team. In particular, I have been given a very high level of responsibility in my disputes seat, which has allowed me to grow tremendously as a future lawyer and a team player.
Since I find the work that I do fulfilling and stimulating, it is my ambition to rise through the ranks of the firm to make Partner in the future.
How do I get into law?
- Demonstrate an understanding of the key differentiating factors between competitor firms and White & Case, and how the distinctive factors of the firm resonate with your professional aspirations.
- Develop sound commercial awareness by reading about current global, political and financial issues. It would also be useful to develop an understanding of the firm’s strategy.
- Identify your strengths and clearly convey on your application form what you could bring to the table that is different from other applicants. As one of the most diverse firms, White & Case values recruiting diverse and distinctive individuals, bonded together by an ambitious and determined attitude.
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