I chose law because I wanted a career that is dynamic, challenging and interesting. The law is constantly changing and client’s come to you with a myriad of different problems- I really like trying to come up with commercially viable solutions. The training contract is appealing in that you are able to spend time in a range of different departments before deciding which area to specialise in, and this gives you an all-round experience.
Fladgate is, in my opinion, the perfect sized firm. Being one of six trainees, you really do feel like people in the firm make an effort to get to know you, and you’re not just one of many. Because we get instructed on both large and small matters, trainees are given significant responsibility and are sometimes given their own cases to run. This is exciting, and my friends at larger law firms are always envious when I tell them! Finally, people here take the time to explain things to you, and this is invaluable in terms of understanding why decisions are made and why we might choose to do things one way instead of another.
The process starts with the standard online application form. Candidates who impress at this stage are sent a link to an online critical reasoning test, and if successful, are invited to an assessment day. The assessment day at Fladgate is tough, but the aim isn’t to try and catch you out. Every exercise is based around the core competencies and strengths that the firm is looking for.
Partners and associates come to engage with the applicants throughout the day which is a great touch – always try to keep in mind that it’s a two-way process and use every opportunity to ask questions about the firm’s culture, practice areas and social events. This information will also come in handy if you’re invited to the final interview!
Try and get your application done early so you can have someone look over it- get them to check for typos and make sure that you are really answering the questions. For the assessment centre definitely do your preparation; read up on the firm, and be up to date on current affairs, but try not to put too much pressure on yourself. At the end of the day it’s all a learning experience and you’ll perform better if you’re not stressed out.
I like getting in early and feeling like I’m on top of things by the time 9:30 arrives. I start the day by setting out my tasks and putting them in an order of priority. My first seat was very busy, and the day would fly by with emails coming in from different associates, partners and clients- and I would try to deal with each task as quickly as I could (without compromising on quality!) Because we move seats every six months the work is always challenging, and you’re constantly learning new areas of law and working with new people. Before leaving the office I consider the tasks still outstanding for the next day to ensure that I am on top of everything.
When work is less busy the trainees tend to go down to the 6th floor to have lunch together, and/ or grab a drink after work (the Hercules Pillars is a favourite!) On Tuesdays and Thursday lunchtimes we have “Fladgate Fitness” which is a great way to keep fit and meet people in the firm.
I moved to London from Hong Kong eight months ago to start my training contract! This was an exciting change, and I really enjoy exploring London after work and on the weekends.