Future Linklaters Trainee Rianna spoke to us about her time at Linklaters so far, and how her misconceptions of the firm's culture were proven wrong. She also gave her top tips having been through the application process.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a Law Graduate from the University of Kent, so I did a straight LLB Course. I am currently doing the LPC with my Linklaters cohort and I will be starting with the firm in March 2022.
What stood out to you about Linklaters?
I think for me it was the balance between amazing training and amazing people. I am quite an open-minded person so I wanted to train at a firm with a wide range of expertise and where I would have the best training and be dealing with things that are globally important and interesting. I also wanted to be somewhere I'm comfortable. That was one of my main priorities. Where I would enjoy being around the people I work with and where I am fully supported. I think that was what stood out for me about Linklaters over other firms is that I think the firm has the perfect balance of both, the work, and the people.
What is the culture like at the firm?
Before I joined Linklaters, I had a misconception that it was a firm where everybody was incredibly intelligent and that I wasn’t good enough and wouldn’t fit in. That you had to be a certain type of person. This was the completely wrong idea of what the firm is like.
While everybody is incredibly smart, everybody is also so nice! Everyone I've spoken to is courteous, respectful, lovely, and willing to help. I've managed to speak to so many people, I've made friends at various levels of seniority. Friends that are trainees, friends that are associates. I went into the firm not knowing anybody and now I have people who I can talk to, and we have great relationships.
It's not that everyone's the same, everyone's different but we share the same respect, values, and friendliness. Going through the Get Ahead process and then the Winter Vacation Scheme gave me the opportunity to understand the firm's culture and then I knew I definitely wanted to work there.
What would be your top tip to members going through the application process?
- The most important tip is to remain resilient. Applications are difficult and you must remain positive. Make sure that you know yourself and believe that you are good enough. You might just need to refine certain skills to fit the application process. It's also important to take every part of the application process as an individual goal and work towards that. Sometimes we are so focused on the end goal we miss the incremental steps in between. The process is long, so it is important to take each step as it comes.
- Practice makes perfect, study yourself and the application process.
- Some good resources are – the firms Virtual Legal Internship, Investopedia, Chris Stokes books ‘All You Need To Know About The City’ and ‘All You Need To Know About Commercial Law’.
- Learn about the firm’s values and be aware of your own values.
- Stay true to yourself, you are more than capable of getting a training contract, it's just about being self-aware and really selling your experiences. We all have something good to offer so don’t dim down who you are!
What were your favourite aspects of your different experiences with Linklaters?
I did the Get Ahead Programme and the Vacation Scheme. In Get Ahead I think the main thing that was invaluable to me was being able to develop my commercial awareness skills and really being able to understand what commercial awareness is. I received amazing guidance on how to develop it further and how to think commercially and for the firm’s clients. I think that was one of my favourite parts. Another thing I enjoyed was receiving invaluable advice and guidance from Trainee Recruitment about the application process.
On the Vacation Scheme, mostly I enjoyed getting to know people and networking because I learned so much just from speaking to as many people as I could. I spoke to legal secretaries, partners, council, associates. Speaking to people from all different levels of seniority and roles within the firm meant I was able to pick up a gem from every single person.
Did Bright Network help you secure these roles and, if so, how?
Yes! I first read about Linklaters on the Bright Network website and from there I was able to focus in more on my own research.
Was there a particular project or a day that sticks out in your mind that can give our members a good snapshot of what it's like to work at Linklaters?
When I was on the Vacation Scheme, I was in the Corporate Team and we took part in a talk about Green Energy, something I had no idea about, but it was relevant to the wider remit of the firms clients and work. That was something I really enjoyed because even though I was on the Vacation Scheme, I was able to sit in on the wider firm calls and was aware of different projects across the firm. I also learned about an area of law that I didn't know anything about up until then.
The socials are also great on the Vacation Scheme. We did a Chocolate Tasting Experience which was great fun. I was also invited to my department’s Christmas Party which meant I felt really included being involved in all areas.
Now that you're with Linklaters and you've secured a role, have you set yourself any new goals? Anything new you'd like to achieve?
My short-term goals are learning as much as possible at the firm and really developing personally and professionally. My priority is helping others like myself. I came from a non-Russell Group University and was the first generation in my family to go to university. I'm an ethnic minority and was in the care system. I'm really focused on helping the firm reach out to more people who are like me. That's one of my long-term goals.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Another tip I have is to record yourself when you are preparing for interviews so you can see how you sound. Finally, the most invaluable thing I learned is to signpost questions. I was getting so far in the application processes but falling at the last hurdle when it came to assessment centres. So, when answering a question, signpost it at the beginning. For example, "the three reasons I want a career in law are…". It allows you to streamline your answers and deliver information in a clear and concise way.
Want to follow in Rianna's footsteps? Find out more about Linklaters and apply here.