People who know tell us what students can do to stand out
As we head into another round of summer holiday plans, we thought of asking graduate recruitment partners at London’s top law firms for advice on how students can excel during their two-week internship and ensure they get an internship offer.
They are the most senior lawyers involved in the placement of graduates in their firms, and closely monitor the development of future lawyers from student to apprentice. Read on for their tips…
Damien Gomez, Restructuring and Insolvency Partner linklaters:
“There are so many opportunities for candidates to excel during their time off. It’s always helpful to get to know someone’s motivation. It’s great to be able to identify candidates whose outlook fits our culture and values, and to see in action what attributes are likely to make them successful in our company. To say: Dedicate yourself and invest in every task that is assigned to you and take the opportunity to learn as much as you can about the firm and law as a profession.
Cyrus Bucha, Regulatory Partner for Financial Services Freshfields:
“The summer sabbatical program is a great opportunity to test whether a commercial legal profession is the right career for you, as well as if the firm is the right place for you. Be sure to test these two things out during your scheme. The best way to do this is to really commit to the experience and talk to as many as possible It also means that you have to be yourself. Perhaps above all else, be nice to your fellow evacuation planners. Enjoy their successes and yours and help those who may be struggling.
Charlotte Madden, Corporate Partner Clifford Chance:
To make the most of this opportunity, it is important to know the business you are about to enter. Explore valuable resources such as our collection of global virtual internships and come up with questions that show you have really thought about the important role trainee lawyers play in large transactions.
“It’s a good idea to think about the skills lawyers use on a regular basis too and how you can demonstrate that you understand and possess the same skill set. Most importantly, be willing to work outside your comfort zone and take every opportunity to engage with the firm.
Hannah Manning, tax partner Travers Smith:
“What we are looking for are candidates who understand our business and culture based on their own research, show a genuine interest in what we do, and have the raw intelligence and emotional intelligence (EQ) to hold their own in the company as interns and beyond. Beyond that, we don’t have a fixed model of what makes an ideal intern At Travers Smith, what we hope candidates will see in the scheme is that there is plenty of scope for them to bring their personality, background and style to the job.
Nick Wong, Global Loan Partner Ashurst:
“Talking and asking questions is key. It shows us that you are engaged and curious. You are likely to find opportunities to attend in-person and virtual meetings as well as training sessions: it is important to participate.
Be Prepared to Say Yes! The sabbatical program is a unique opportunity to gain a real, realistic view of life as a lawyer, so try not to shy away from the experiences that come your way, no matter how intimidating they may be. Whether it’s a team-building social event or an event with clients, Say “yes” whenever you can.You won’t learn everything you need to know about the job from behind your desk—informal interactions are just as important and it’s imperative that you have fun while you’re hired, too.
Finally, remember, it’s not just about the law – companies also want to get to know you as a person. While it’s always admirable to discuss the most important news of the day and how it might affect what you’re working on, we also want to hear about you and what interests you, whether Whether it was sports, books, travel or something else.
Greg Norman, Investment Management Partner Skadn:
“In my view, the sabbatical program is a two-way street – it is an opportunity for us to get to know our candidates better, and it is also an opportunity for the candidates to get to know us. In my experience, the candidates who take this opportunity and try to learn as much as possible by interacting with the people in the company They, at all levels, usually do very well in assessments because they feel at home in. I like to think candidates would benefit from gaining some, albeit limited, experience of what life is like in Skadden.
Christopher Hutton, Global Regulatory Partner Hogan Lovells:
Enjoy it! The purpose of the scheme is to get to know us, to get to know you – for who you are, so be yourself and enjoy the scheme! After that, make the most of it – it’s a great opportunity for you to meet market leaders in a wide range of practice areas, so select The people you care about, ask a list of questions, reach out to the people you want to connect with, talk to them, tell them what you want to talk about, and start having those valuable conversations.