Global corporate law firms can seem very similar at a first glance. It is only after getting to know their lawyers and employees during vacation schemes and other social events that one learns key differences. For me, S&C’s culture, work nature and learning opportunities made it stand out.
The main reason I chose S&C is its collaborative work environment. This is made possible due to the small trainee intake that joins the firm every year, which creates a more inclusive environment where collaboration, rather than competition, is the norm. In addition, prior to joining the firm you will have studied the LPC / SQE with the other incoming trainees, so that upon joining the firm you will be surrounded by familiar faces and will be able to learn together.
This structure also allows you to interact and work with all team members, to be given responsibility and to get involved in more substantial work from the outset. Rather than being solely relegated to running checklists (which is nevertheless a valuable trainee task), you are given the opportunity to communicate with clients and local counsel, and to draft documents. Not only is this more interesting, but also allows you to learn from experience and to engage with both junior and senior lawyers.
It is no secret that S&C has an excellent reputation. This is a result of its strong focus on quality over quantity and of its personal commitment to clients, which is ultimately reflected in its diverse and global client base and the type of work it does. The opportunity to work for such clients and deals was another big factor for my decision.
Also a key aspect for me was S&C’s generalist approach as I think this has huge benefits, both for trainees, who do not necessarily understand what working in each practice area entails, and for qualified lawyers, as it ultimately allows you to have a broader knowledge base and skill set which makes you a more valuable lawyer.
The Ongoing Learning
Finally and not less important, S&C makes training a priority – not only for trainees but for qualified lawyers as well. Besides the initial induction upon joining the firm, there are introductory sessions for each of the practice areas and weekly training sessions that deal with different topics. These have certainly been helpful in practice, and even if some of them might not be directly relevant at the moment, they provide you with useful resources once you come across new issues in practice.