When making applications for training contracts, I knew that I wanted to work for a firm which would offer me the opportunity to work on outstanding legal matters with an international focus, but within a small office environment where I could work closely with my colleagues and supervisors. This seemed almost an impossible combination, but one which S&C executes exceptionally.
I was even more attracted to S&C after learning of its generalist approach, which means that lawyers are always provided with the opportunity to work on deals in the different areas of practice within the General Practice Group. This appealed to me as I know that I am working at a firm where a broad range of excellence is encouraged, something which I believe makes for an outstanding lawyer.
S&C has a reputation globally for performing top quality work at the forefront of the legal market. And this is certainly true; in less than a month since the start of my training contract I have worked on many deals of a major scale, alongside lawyers who regularly receive accolades and awards. The work is also truly international, involving international corporations and multi-jurisdictional deals, and the teams are staffed on each deal from across S&C’s different offices.
The trainees are given a lot of responsibility early on. In two weeks, I have worked on drafting documents such as board minutes, and due diligence questionnaires, been in regular contact with clients and a variety of other third parties through meetings, calls and email correspondence, as well as done research on highly exciting matters which have never been carried out before!
One of the most important aspects of working life is enjoying the atmosphere at your place of work, and the people at S&C make it a truly great place to work at. Everyone is incredibly friendly and has taken time to get to know me. People are also very supportive and happy to help with any questions. My supervising partner and associates I work with always take the time to carefully explain the deals and tasks I am to perform and to provide feedback.
I have been in regular contact with the firm since accepting the training contract: we were invited to dinners where we had the opportunity to meet not only our own intake of trainees, but also the two previous intakes as well as the one to follow, and many partners and associates. I also studied for the LPC together with the remaining trainees in my intake, and S&C ensured we were placed in the same classes. This gave us an invaluable opportunity to form friendships.
The Vacation Scheme
The two-week vacation scheme was a great insight into what working as a trainee is like. I was impressed by the fact that I was given real work, which the associates would have otherwise done. We were also given a variety of opportunities to be integrated in the office, including taking part in a softball game and being invited to the office-wide summer drinks event. Many associates and partners also took the time to get to know us, and take us out for lovely lunches! My experience at the vacation scheme was so satisfying that I knew, even before it had finished, that S&C was the firm I wanted to work for.
I collaborate with my supervisor and other lawyers daily, and such a hands-on approach has been immensely helpful. Trainees at S&C sit in offices either in pairs or with a supervisor. I am currently sharing an office with a trainee who is in her third seat, and I have found the experience invaluable. There are regular trainee or department-wide training sessions, and we can request any additional training sessions we think may be helpful. The training at S&C also provides us with the possibility to meet S&C lawyers from the other offices – this is crucial as lawyers at S&C frequently work in teams spanning different offices. We spent a week in the firm’s New York office for induction at the beginning of our training contract, where we had the opportunity to meet our colleagues who are new joiners at all of S&Cs other offices, and the lawyers from S&C’s European offices will be joining us in London for training soon!