Legal Eagles

Legal Eagles

For the past five months, Sarah and David have been working as trainee lawyers at Nabarro LLP, a London-based law firm. Below are some of their experiences to date along with a background of how they ended up there.

David Lazell pic

Sarah Verrechia pic

Gaining Experience

During the University summer holidays both Sarah and David spent three weeks doing a paid internship at Nabarro to get a practical experience of what being a lawyer entails.

Sarah - I'd heard that many law firms use internship programmes to find trainees of the future. Applying for these schemes seemed daunting at the outset and highly competitive, especially when you read the statistics of how many applicants there are for each place. My advice is not to be put off by this and to give it a go.

David – The internships I attended served as a great way to gain experience at a law firm whilst also providing an opportunity to secure a firm job offer. I was thrown in at the deep end in the corporate law department and spent three weeks trying to deal as best as I could with the work I was tasked with. There were a number of social events to even up the work/life balance and I particularly enjoyed the chance to get involved in a 'Dragons Den' style project which tested our commercial awareness.

Sarah - I did the summer internship before studying any law, but I was surprised how much work I could get involved with and how much was just common sense! Working at a firm for three weeks is a great chance to see if the firm is for you just as much as it is for the firm to decide if you are for them. We also got a good sense that lawyers do work hard and play hard as we were taken on fantastic socials such as bowling and karaoke.

David - As a 21 year old student, the fact that the scheme was paid really sweetened the deal!

nabarro pic

David and Sarah work for Nabarro, a major UK law firm with a multi award winning summer work
experience scheme are open to students in the second year of a law degree, final year of a non law degree, and beyond. 
They also take on 25 trainee solicitors per year in our London and Sheffield offices.  As well as strong academics they look for proactive, flexible students who demonstrate good interpersonal and teamworking skills, commercial awareness and problem solving skills.  Full details about their graduate opportunities can be found at:
www.nabarro.com/graduates

Aspirations

David - For many years I firmly believed that I would make it as a professional sportsman and despite having no real interest in science or mathematics, I even entertained the prospect of being an astronaut. Once I got a grip on reality in my late teens I began to change my mind about potential career paths as often as I changed my mind about my favourite band. I wanted to do something challenging with lots of variety and soon I had set my eyes set on becoming a lawyer.

Sarah - After deciding that being a Blue Peter presenter or West End superstar were not really feasible careers, I turned my thoughts to the possibility of being a lawyer. Not knowing any lawyers, my knowledge of the profession at this point mainly stemmed from the film Legally Blonde and TV shows such as Ally Mcbeal. I did some work experience at a small local law firm to see what the job was really like and liked what I saw.

university pic

University

Sarah - When it came to deciding what to study at university I was still undecided about whether law was definitely for me and the prospect of studying a subject for three years that I knew very little about scared me. I loved history at school so decided to do a History degree at Exeter University. About half of all lawyers these days don't actually study law for their main degree and then do a one year law conversion course like I did. Studying a subject that you feel passionate about where you can gain good transferable skills is definitely a good idea and helps keep your options open.

David - I was confident that I wanted to study law but I had always taken a keen interest in the business world, so I was delighted when I enrolled at Warwick University to study Law & Business Studies. Life at university was fresh and exciting but it also came with many challenges. I struggled with studying law in my first year and began to question whether becoming a lawyer would be the right career path for me. In my second year I decided to get my head down and work harder. My efforts appeared to pay off as my grades improved and I really got to grips with studying law, reigniting my interest in becoming a solicitor.

Life as a trainee lawyer

The hard work paid off and in January 2013 both Sarah and David donned their new corporate wardrobes and began their new lives as trainee lawyers at Nabarro.

David - Having just returned to London after being abroad for a few months, starting work and getting into a routine was certainly the first challenge to overcome. I quickly settled into the first department of my rotation on the trainee scheme and everything felt much less daunting than I had imagined it would.

Sarah - I had also spent four months prior to starting work travelling and arrived for my first day of work tanned but rather shell shocked! The first week was an intense week of training and getting to know the basics. Training with all my friends from law school was and still is one of my favourite things about the job and a real perk of training at a law firm that has a number of trainees.

David - The training really sets you up well for a four month stint in each department, refreshing the key areas of law which may well be a bit hazy having studied them a few years ago. I feel that I was given a lot of responsibility from the outset and this has really motivated me to work hard and make a positive impact. But it really isn't all about work, Nabarro run a number of sports teams, charity committees and there are always a variety of social events in the calendar. Crucially, Friday night drinks are a permanent fixture amongst the trainees! - I did the summer internship before studying any law, but I was surprised how much work I could get involved with and how much was just common sense! Working at a firm for three weeks is a great chance to see if the firm is for you just as much as it is for the firm to decide if you are for them. We also got a good sense that lawyers do work hard and play hard as we were taken on fantastic socials such as bowling and karaoke.

marathon pic

Sarah – David and I volunteer at a clinic run by Nabarro once a week which provides free legal advice to people that would otherwise not be able to have access to a lawyer. We also both volunteered at the London Marathon this year as part of the media team assisting celebrities on the finish line. I never thought that being a lawyer would lead to me seeing Prince Harry in the flesh, chatting to Richard Branson, comparing make up with Amy Childs or seeing David having a brief encounter with Katherine Jenkins!

David - As a 21 year old student, the fact that the scheme was paid really sweetened the deal!