I was initially attracted to S&C due to the small size of its intake. I believe being one of four trainees gives me great flexibility, exposure and responsibility from the outset. However unlike other small firms with small offices, S&Cs London office represents big clients on big deals at the forefront of its practice areas. Therefore the opportunities to get involved in high quality, challenging and multi-jurisdictional work is unparalleled among its peer firms with small intakes. Furthermore, the calibre and proficiency of the lawyers at S&C is inspirational; lawyers are driven to become excellent practitioners across the board in line with the ethos and strategy of the firm. I can’t think of a better environment in which to start my legal career.
The English law capabilities in the London office are split into four main areas; Tax, Competition, Criminal Defence and Investigations and General Practice. For me, coming from a non-law background, the General Practice area seemed like the perfect opportunity to experience a wide range of corporate legal practice. So far in my capital markets seat I have carried out a number of tasks that are familiar to me from the LPC such as annotating a prospectus, searching for precedents and having a go at drafting some risk factors. It was extremely satisfying to see that my draft suggestions had been incorporated into the document that went out to the other side for review!
The people are what really made S&C stand out to me during the application process and my vacation scheme. It can be very daunting to go into a professional environment for the first time, and interviews can be scary as it is, but at all times everyone at S&C from the recruitment team to the lawyers to the support staff, were amicable and friendly and always put my mind at ease. Now that I have been in the office for several weeks and had the opportunity to get to know everyone better, I’m really glad to be part of such a friendly firm.
The Vacation Scheme
The vacation scheme provides a real insight into what life as a trainee at S&C will be like. Everyone made a real effort to get to know us and give us plenty of work to keep us busy! The associates I worked closely with made time to explain the background and nature of their transactions to me so I could see the bigger picture and really understand what I was involved with. I had the opportunity to review and amend documents, take part in calls with the client and the other side and carry out research for the associates I was working with. The Firm also organised several formal and informal social events, which helped me to get to know more people and really feel a part of the team.
Within the first week of starting at S&C we were given practical training on matters such as the Firm’s resources and library capacity, as well as typical trainee tasks like preparing opinions, research and drafting generic corporate documents such as board minutes and company certificates. In the office the associates take time to explain tasks and background, and have offered to give further formal training on aspects which they feel are useful, or on which we request further information and know-how. There is definitely a sense that everyone is working together to ensure I have the best opportunities to develop into the best lawyer I can be.