Talking vacation schemes and training contracts with White & Case

  • Last updated Feb 22, 2019 4:03:41 PM
  • By Emma Finamore, Editor, AllAboutLaw.co.uk
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Tell us about the different practice areas at the London office? How has the scope of these areas grown over recent years?

We offer cutting edge work on a par with the Magic Circle. We used to be renowned for being more of a finance-focused law firm, but over the years we’ve broadened in scope and are now a full service law firm. 

In London, we offer complex and dynamic work across a range of practice areas: banking, financial restructuring and insolvency; capital markets (including regulatory compliance, high yield and securitisation); dispute resolution (including antitrust, commercial litigation, intellectual property, international arbitration, trade, white collar and construction and engineering); energy, infrastructure, project and asset finance (EIPAF); corporate (including M&A, private equity, employment, compensation and benefits, investment funds, real estate and tax).

Our work is also distinctly international, with about 50% of the Firm’s deals involving five or more offices.

As well as being organised into different practice areas, our lawyers are aligned to different industry groups. This allows us to effectively advise our clients across a number of practice areas and meet their diverse needs. 

Vacation schemes and insight schemes

How many vacation schemes do you offer and who are they available to?

We offer two-week vacation scheme placements over the spring and summer holidays for penultimate year students, finalists and graduates. The deadline to apply is 15 January 2019.

Spring vacation scheme: Monday 1 April – Friday 12 April 2019

Summer vacation scheme: Monday 17 June – Friday 28 June 2019 

What is it you look for in a perspective applicant?

White & Case is looking to recruit ambitious trainees who have a desire to gain hands-on practical experience from day one. They should have an understanding of international commercial issues and an interest in working on big-ticket, cross-border work. We recruit both law and non-law students and owing to the nature of our work, language skills are of interest. Applicants will be welcomed for their individuality, their ability to contribute to the cutting-edge work we do and the energy with which they approach the job at hand. They should have achieved, or be on track to achieve, a high 2:1, have a positive and friendly attitude, be enthusiastic and work well in teams.

What does the vacation scheme consist of?

A vacation scheme provides a great way to experience first-hand what life is like as a White & Case trainee. In total, we have around 60 places available on our spring and summer schemes. Playing an active part in the life and work of the London office, you will be sharing an office with your supervisor, helping them with their work and attending meetings. There will be opportunities to learn about the Firm and its practice areas in more detail, understand the training programme we offer and attend a variety of workshops. The social side of office life is important too and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to network at social events such as sushi-making classes, mini golf and go-karting. Throughout the scheme, you’ll receive continued support and feedback from your supervisor and the Graduate Resourcing team.

What opportunities do you offer to students in their first year of university?

As a first year student studying any degree discipline, you can apply for our insight scheme.

Over the course of the scheme you will be invited to presentations, skills sessions and workshops to help you understand the role of a solicitor in a City firm and prepare you for the application processes ahead. You’ll also spend a day work-shadowing, giving you a great opportunity to observe the day to day life of a trainee solicitor at White & Case. There are 20 places available.

Training contracts:

How has the number of White & Case trainees increased in the past few years, and why is the firm recruiting more?

Across a two-year period we have increased our yearly trainee intake from 30 to 50, this increase is part of our wider growth strategy plan for 2020 and is a reflection of our continued success as a Firm.

As we grow at every level – from trainee to partner – we will continue to provide our trainees with high quality and cutting edge work as well as excellent career prospects and rewards.

What does White & Case offer trainees that they can’t experience at other firms?

The Firm offers a guaranteed overseas seat and the opportunity to be involved in cross border work on a daily basis.

Trainees also get the opportunity to work with a diverse range of colleagues and clients. For example, at our last count we had lawyers and staff from 33 different nationalities speaking 40 languages in the London office alone. 

We are unique in the sense that unlike other US firms we have a strong and established presence in London, and unlike the Magic Circle firms we have a strong presence in the US.

This is a unique offering for prospective trainees. 

What international clients do you work with, and do trainees have the opportunity to work with them?

We have a wide range of clients across a multitude of industries and sectors.

A few high-profile clients include: Facebook, Google, Goldman Sachs, Sony, Toshiba, Bupa and Pfizer.

How much contact do trainees have with partners?

From day one trainees have contact with partners, and many of our partners actually take on the role of trainee supervisor. Our partners are genuinely committed to taking an active part in trainees’ training and development, as they see trainees as the future partners of the Firm.  

What is the retention rate of trainees? 

We retained 75% of our London trainees who qualified in September 2016 (15 of 20 trainees were offered and accepted positions at the Firm).

We retained 87% of our London trainees who qualified in March 2016.

How will White & Case expand in the next few years, and how will trainees be involved with these developments?

Our 2020 strategy is all about targeted profitable growth. We plan to increase our City lawyer headcount by 40%, and to grow certain target global industries, including financial institutions, private equity, technology and oil and gas sectors.

Our M&A, Capital Markets and disputes practices will continue to remain our primary focus as a firm as a whole. Despite these practice areas being our main focus we will continue to grow in other fields. 

In order to achieve this, we will continue to focus on developing and maintaining client relationships and will continue to be committed to creating an engaged and motivated workforce. There is no doubt that trainees are instrumental and play an important role in achieving this vision.

White & Case's vacation scheme application deadline is coming up soon: 15 January 2019.

For more information, please visit White & Case's website

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