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Michelle: Associate and Former Trainee (London)


Michelle A. Vickers

Associate and Former Trainee, London

Monday
It has been almost two months since I started my seat in capital markets. I am an early bird and arrive in the office at 8:30 a.m. to have breakfast and check my email. I spend the morning assisting a senior associate with a query from a member of our New York deal team on the Prospectus Directive. I pop round to her office to discuss, and then we call our New York colleague to talk about "the answer," as well as catch up on the status of the transaction. It is yet another example of the international nature of S&C's practice, and working in such a closely knit way almost makes me forget that he is thousands of miles away. 
 
After lunch in our canteen (today is meatball day!) I prepare a first draft of some selling restrictions for a bond prospectus. I have never done this before, and it takes me some time, but a friendly associate helps me along the way. I spend the rest of the afternoon preparing a client presentation on the Listing Rules and finish the day sitting in on a Corporate and Finance Group lunch. This is a meeting held regularly in New York that is streamed via video-conference in London. It feels strange to watch colleagues eating sandwiches at 6:30 in the evening, but it is a great way to catch up on the transactions that are keeping the Firm busy. 
 
Tuesday
For the last six months, I have been helping a partner and associate on a fantastic pro bono matter. The project involves drafting the constitutional documents for an international organisation which funds and supports innovations that improve the lives of people in developing countries. We have been involved since the very early stages, and I have had a great time working with both our clients and the various parties involved.
 
Today is significant because the final closing call is scheduled in the afternoon. I check in with the associate and partner on the matter about how I can help, and later we dial-in together. The call goes very smoothly, and we breathe a sigh of relief that the organisation will launch in time.
 
Wednesday
I attend the Associates' Group meeting at lunchtime. This is an informal gathering where all associates and trainees meet to discuss what is going on at the Firm. All are encouraged to raise any issues, questions or suggestions they might have, and we talk about everything from who is moving into the office upstairs to suggestions about venues for our next holiday party. 
 
Being part of a small intake of trainees allows me to get involved in a wide range of tasks both within and related to my capital markets seat. Among other things, in the afternoon I attend a call with our tax team, help to prepare a commitment increase notice for a leveraged finance transaction and conduct more research on the Alternative Fund Manager's Directive. All of this is a great way of getting to learn how different practice areas fit in together, and I really enjoy how varied my tasks are.
 
Thursday
Most of today is spent amending a prospectus for an IPO. As we have a deadline of 7:00 p.m. the entire team is busily involved and the day flies by. I learnt how a document on our system transforms into millions of paper versions to send to investors around the world. The process is a little more complicated than pressing 'print.' 
 
Friday
I help an associate conduct some conflict of laws research. The matter is pretty complicated, and there are a number of documents involved, so in the afternoon I go back to the associate to discuss. Talking through the matter really helps to clarify the solution, and I am once again grateful for how approachable and supportive our supervisors are. We have a call in the afternoon with other members of the working group to discuss the question I have been looking into, and I am relieved to hear I have come up on the right side of the fence. 
 
I consider attending a spin class around the corner after work but resolve to go to the pub with the other trainees instead. 

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