Why Osborne Clarke?
I wanted to train at a firm which had an international footprint, conducted interesting and intellectually demanding work and had a well-structured training programme. Osborne Clarke ticked all of these boxes. Above all else, I wanted to train somewhere that had a supportive and encouraging culture where you feel like a valued member of the firm rather than just another cog in the corporate wheel. Osborne Clarke’s ability to generate this environment was evident to me from my early encounters with the firm and the combination of Osborne Clarke’s culture and stellar work made it my first choice.
What was your recruitment process like?
I underwent a number of different recruitment processes and while some firms opt for a short, non-structure process and others choose to have many stages, Osborne Clarke’s recruitment process struck the appropriate balance between being stimulating without becoming unnecessarily laborious. It involved an online application, a psychometric test, an assessment centre and a two-week vacation scheme. Osborne Clarke tends to take the majority of its trainees from the vacation scheme which is a good approach as it not only enables the firm to get to know you better but it also gives you the chance to see whether the firm is the right place for you too. On being offered a training contract I was left with no reservations that Osborne Clarke would be a great fit for me.
Your vacation scheme experience
During the two week scheme I undertook a variety of tasks, including drafting a deed of release on a live client matter. I found the task both intellectually challenging and a good learning experience. One of the highlights of the scheme was the after work cricket match against Verizon. The match gave me an opportunity to mingle with some of the team in a more social environment and was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The vacation scheme contained a great mixture of real work, client exposure and social experiences. This enabled me to gain an insight into what life is typically like as a trainee at Osborne Clarke.
How have you found your first seat?
I have quickly come to enjoy the dynamic nature of corporate law and have been really well supported by my supervisor and the other members of the team. I have managed to get involved in a number of straight forward tasks alongside also having the chance to coordinate with local counsel in Brazil and gain some client exposure. All of this has happened within my first month as a trainee. This is testament to Osborne Clarke’s supportive and encouraging culture where everyone is respected and pushed to become better lawyers.
What has been your personal highlight so far?
My personal highlight so far is being involved in one of the new confidential deals that we have on at the moment. We were only recently instructed on the matter and it is the first deal that I have been able to get involved in from the start and we have a very tight deadline in which to exchange so it’s all hands on deck. The deal spans many of the departments in the firm, requiring input from over 30 lawyers and it is interesting to see how members of my team coordinate and orchestrate deal of this size. Hopefully I will be able to see the entire lifespan of a corporate transaction which will in turn enable me to get a better understanding of the mechanics of an acquisition.
What do you wish you’d know about being a trainee before you started your training contract?
I wish I was made aware of how fun and enjoyable working as a trainee can be. Applying for training contracts can feel like a monotonous task, especially once you experience rejection. When I was researching firms I read about how training can be dry and the work you do will not be stimulating. My experience so far has been completely the opposite. Although not all the tasks you perform as a trainee will be incredibly fun and engaging, I am of the opinion that as long as you have a good work environment you can have an enjoyable time as a trainee no matter what tasks you perform.
One piece of advice you’d give anyone considering applying to Osborne Clarke?
I would advise anyone considering applying to Osborne Clarke to really take some time to develop their knowledge of the firm. When applying for multiple firms it can be easy to only conduct some superficial research. I am of the view that the better you get to know the firm, the more likely that this deep research will be reflected in your application.
How have you found working during COVID? Has the firm helped (and if so how)?
Starting my training contract during a global pandemic was very different from how I originally envisaged it. Starting any new job is challenging let alone starting from your bedroom. However, I found the induction process engaging and well thought out, giving us plenty of time to absorb the information. I have noticed how eager everyone is to meet you and how people try extra hard to ensure that you are settling in well.