Oct 19, 2021

Written By Emma Finamore

Landed a training contract? What happens next?

Oct 19, 2021

Written By Emma Finamore

Landing a coveted training contract at a top law firm is an accomplishment, but it’s just the beginning of an exciting journey. From welcome events and socials, to exams and liaising with clients, Amie Corry, Trainee Solicitor at Taylor Wessing, told us what to expect.

How do Taylor Wessing welcome trainees?

Taylor Wessing's Graduate Recruitment team take an extremely proactive approach to ensure trainees feel supported. From the day we were told we were successful, leading up to our first day, we had regular check-ins with them to discuss what was next for us. There were interesting events and webinars, and general catch-ups to see how we were doing, asking if we required any support from the team, and advice on what we could do to prepare for the start of our training contract.

We also had lots of guidance during the seat allocation process, with Graduate Recruitment providing us with an insight into each seat, ensuring we were well prepared to hit the ground running, and allowing us to gain experience in sectors we were genuinely interested in.

There were also social events in the lead-up to our training contracts, like the annual trainee Christmas party, which saw us attend a virtual cocktail-making class, and the firm-wide Winter Party. These were a fantastic opportunity to not only meet current members of the firm but all future trainee cohorts, so we could all meet and network. We also did a chocolate tasting social a few weeks before the start of the training contract to meet with the rest of our cohort and get to know the firm and its culture better.

Advertisement

How did you keep up-to-date with what the firm was doing in the period between securing the training contract and starting?

Taylor Wessing is extremely active on social media so I found it very easy to keep up with what the firm was doing. It operates in many cutting-edge industries and is always working with innovative clients to meet their business objectives, such as assisting Pfizer on its vaccine rollout.

With such important work the firm keeps a really high profile in the legal press, so I was always aware of the top transactions and other creative projects the firm has been involved with. As a future trainee, I also found it important to take an active approach to keep up to date with any developments or landmark transactions: it’s essential for a future employee as you will be assisting with this work when you start.

I followed the firm's Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, which are a great resource for finding out news of their work in the legal sphere but also their incredible community partnerships, such as the partnership with The National Portrait Gallery. They have also recently launched a Graduate Recruitment Instagram account, where members of the team share insights into life as a trainee, engage with aspiring solicitors and share tips and tricks for the application season.

I would highly recommend anybody applying for a training contract, or a future trainee, to follow the firm’s graduate recruitment and main social accounts to keep up-to-date with what the firm is doing and engage with the firm’s they are interested in.

Finally, whenever Taylor Wessing were hosting guest speakers and interesting webinars, we would receive invites from Graduate Recruitment allowing us to attend. This was really important in ensuring we felt included and also meant we were able to keep abreast with issues affecting our sectors, our clients or our people.

What’s the first day of a training contract like with Taylor Wessing?

The first day of any training contract is a day filled with a mixture of emotions. Nerves, excitement, and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude knowing that the day has finally arrived! We were very lucky as the firm had organised for our first day to be in-person (rather than virtual) and the rest of the two-week induction to be hybrid. It was exciting, knowing we would get to experience the firm first-hand and meet one another in person.

At the office on our first day, we were warmly greeted by the Graduate Recruitment team, who congratulated us on our start and hosted a fantastic breakfast, giving us the chance to mingle and alleviate some of those built-up nerves. Having the first day in-person also really helped us form better relationships within our cohort: we were all experiencing the same emotions, in the same boat, so naturally gravitated to one another and shared our excitement.

Then there were welcome talks from Graduate Recruitment, Talent Development, the Trainee Solicitor Council, and our Supervisors, an in-depth tour of the London office, and lunch. This made for a great first day, and introduced us to the wider Taylor Wessing team and how the firm operates, while networking and getting to know each other.

The first day was even better than I expected it to be. The Graduate Recruitment team really go above and beyond to make you feel like a member of the team from the start, and organise a truly interactive, fun and engaging first day to set you up for the rest of the induction.

Opportunities with Taylor Wessing

How is the induction period at Taylor Wessing? Is there anything unique that trainees get to take part in during that time?

Taylor Wessing's induction period lasts for two week, and I found that gave us a great chance to find our feet and get to know our roles and the firm better before having to start our allocated seats. We did training sessions on the firm’s IT, tech, house styles and writing – which was all very useful for preparing us for our seats – and spent a few days on the Financial & Business exam, as part of the Professional Skills Course.

One of the most memorable parts of the induction was travelling to the Roundhouse, for a tour of the building, and an interactive session with a local poet. Here we had an in-depth introduction to Responsible Business and the firm's commitment to giving back to our community, as well as a session on how to write and speak with passion, something I found really engaging and a great way to let off steam after the PSC exam.

The final day of the induction was a super fun one: an 'Innovation Day' where we were introduced to our Legal Tech and Innovation Team and tasked with presenting a more effective, creative way of delivering standard legal terms to particular audiences. Again, this was a great chance to bond as a group, while also getting us to think innovatively and align with Taylor Wessing's aim to remain one of the most innovative law firms in Europe.

To top off two truly fantastic weeks, we were treated to end-of-induction food and drinks at Cloud 9 bar with simply stunning views and a great opportunity to prepare for the first day in each of our allocated seats.

How does the firm balance inducting trainees to the firm and also getting started doing work in their first seat?

As the bulk of the induction is separate from our first official day in our seat, the firm strikes a good balance between letting us learn the important basic foundations to operate in a working environment, while not overwhelming us with work from our very first day.

By separating the two, there’s the chance to get to know one another, form relationships, and find our feet: and that was exactly what we did. It also gave us the ability to complete the PSC exam in a short period, without again having to balance other commitments.

Once we had started our first day in our seats, we had sector-specific training allocated throughout the next two weeks. I found this a really useful way of developing our training further and provided a greater insight into training, which would help us perform more successfully in our particular sector. This approach means we can learn as we go, receive training on matters that will assist us in completing specific tasks and align our training with our development path.

How did your expectations of being a trainee solicitor at Taylor Wessing match up with the reality?

My expectations of being a trainee solicitor at Taylor Wessing have been greatly surpassed by the reality. I knew about the cutting edge work the firm does, and the level of responsibility you receive as a trainee, but I really did not realise the fantastic opportunities we would receive from the onset, and a great deal of responsibility we would be given.

You do get the opportunity to liaise with clients from day one, take on intellectually stimulating work, and throughout all of this, are made to feel a part of the team through a friendly, diverse and inclusive culture. All questions are important, and you are encouraged to reach out for support and guidance throughout your journey with the firm.

Taylor Wessing are also very much committed to your development and have already provided me with countless opportunities to develop my expertise and knowledge and prepare me for my future with the firm. They do invest in their talent, whilst ensuring you feel completely confident in your start and know exactly where to turn should you need any guidance.

Despite being the newest members of the team, surrounded by many of the world's leading experts, you are encouraged to share your innovative thoughts and suggestions and the firm is completely open to running with your ideas to try and create a better environment for everyone. They value your input and see their trainees as the future of the firm, paving the path for others to follow. I feel extremely lucky to be completing my training contract with such a great firm: it’s definitely the right firm for me!

Advertisement

Interviews