Choosing between firms can be confusing, especially when you only have limited experience. The decision to accept my S&C offer was based on two factors: learning opportunities and people.
The opportunity to work on (often) bespoke, market-leading deals is invaluable as a trainee, and something that was important to me throughout the application process. There is no shortage of such work at S&C.
My first two seats in the Capital Markets and Finance practices did not disappoint. I have had the opportunity to run transactions, engage with clients, local counsel and other external parties, as well as being involved in the drafting of key documents. This is made possible by the lean deal teams at S&C; you will often be working directly with a senior associate and partner, meaning that you are given responsibility at an early stage in your career. Whilst this can seem daunting in your first few weeks, it is immensely rewarding and a great way to develop your legal and commercial knowledge.
S&C’s generalist approach was also particularly attractive to me. I struggled to pinpoint a practice area of interest while I was studying and found it artificial having to select one when interviewing with other firms. S&C encourages you to take a broad approach to your training and does not confine you to one practice area on qualification. As I had hoped, this eliminates the pressure to decide during the training contract and allows you to approach all seats with an open mind.
The S&C team are great at welcoming you and putting you at ease, right through from your first interview to being staffed on new deals.
A testament to S&C’s collaborative culture is the small intake of trainees each year. Having heard this during the interview process from past trainees, I knew I wanted to go somewhere with a supportive environment, without the pressure to compete with peers. This has been true of my time here. All four trainees in my cohort get along well and we enjoyed spending time together during the LPC year. Not having to compete with one another (or other junior team members) is also extremely helpful, as we can focus on our own development and support one another, as and when necessary.
If there’s a spare moment in the day, you’re sure to have a few visitors popping their heads in for a chat. While everyone works hard, there are plenty of opportunities to socialise. This is really important as it breaks up the day and allows you to get to know the people you will be working with.