I wanted work that would be challenging. So I was looking at the magic circle and some of the U.S. law firms. S&C seemed to offer the best of both: a big international firm; and a small-sized office. I had a hunch that this would mean large, ground-breaking deals where you could get stuck in even as a trainee on the one hand, and being treated as a human on the other. I was right on both counts, at the interview, the vacation scheme and now as a trainee. For me the deal was sealed by a regular cake trolley and tasty lunches!
I have only been in the office for a few weeks, but already I am working on huge deals in the Competition team. They have given me very real responsibility: drafting merger applications to the EU, keeping on top of local filings all across the world, and researching brand new niches of competition law. The team works very well together: the emphasis really is on working smart. There’s an element of strategy even in the smallest of tasks, and it’s really good fun to challenge yourself.
The people in the office are great to work alongside and trainees are treated as an important part of the team. Being a relatively small office means you get to know everyone, and vice versa. Your contributions are remembered, and doing well earns you trust. A result is that you not only feel valued, but also genuinely valuable. That’s a pretty good feeling to take home every day, and to the pub with the associates on Fridays.
The Vacation Scheme
S&C puts a huge amount of effort into the two week vacation scheme. I had the opportunity to work closely with associates on some of the deals going on at the time, and they made a strong effort to give me work I would do as a trainee. There was also plenty of opportunity to socialise with everyone in the office at the organised events and at lunch. There’s no better opportunity to get to know the firm, its people and the job.
Training at S&C is clearly a priority. There is both scheduled learning and learning on the job: so you never feel like you’re drowning, nor are you endlessly in a training room. The training sessions are presented by everyone from second-year trainees to partners covering overviews of practice areas, to specific tasks. Some associates run a Thursday morning session on best practices with bacon butties: a winning and time-saving combination in every sense. That’s what makes it so good – everyone pitches in to your development.