I was initially drawn to S&C because it offered the combination of a small intake and an outstanding international reputation. For me, this meant the opportunity to work alongside partners and associates on challenging, top quality legal matters. Also, given my international background, I found the idea of joining an office where US- and English-qualified lawyers work side by side exciting.
Being a part of a smaller office and working on high quality, cross-border legal work means a lot of responsibility and a steep learning curve. While this can be challenging, the opportunity to get involved in the type of deals S&C works on is exceptional and the best training I can imagine.
Through its size and culture, S&C truly encourages a hands-on approach: trainees are treated as part of the team from the outset. While I have only been at the office for two weeks, I have already been asked to mark-up an important agreement and send my comments to the solicitors representing the other side. I get a sense that my work is appreciated and valued. Being included in significant matters and receiving positive feedback is extremely encouraging and rewarding.
Especially now, after having spent some time at the office, I really appreciate the value of getting along well with the people I work with. Everyone at S&C is hard-working and passionate about what they do, but also extremely supportive, approachable and friendly. This creates a positive and welcoming atmosphere and makes S&C a great place to work and learn.
Even before starting the LPC, my intake was invited to attend firm events and dinners so we could meet partners and associates. The trainees from the intake above us also organised a dinner to get to know us better. This made starting a lot less daunting, as I knew I could always rely on someone for help and advice.
Every year, in the week before starting the training contract, new trainees are invited to attend the firm-wide orientation programme in New York! Given that S&C lawyers frequently work in teams spanning across various offices, flying to New York was an invaluable opportunity to meet S&C’s new joiners from around the world. The trip was an overall exceptional experience and showed that S&C’s culture is truly international and supportive.
As well as receiving direct guidance and feedback from the lawyers I work with, we have regular formal training sessions for the trainees and NQs. These sessions are interactive so we can all learn from each other’s experiences. This works well, given that we are such a small group. Apart from being incredibly useful and informative, the sessions are a great opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the topics we covered on the LPC. There are also monthly practice-group lunches, where legal updates and key matters are discussed. The level and quality of support we receive from everyone at the firm is certainly impressive.