Huge congratulations to Olivia who secured a Training Contract at Trowers & Hamlins and is currently in her first seat at their Manchester office. We caught up with her to find out more about her journey to success and her top tips for members wanting to follow in her footsteps.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I studied law at Manchester Metropolitan University and later became a junior buyer, for a large supermarket after I graduated.
I didn’t do any legal work for 4 years and then, when I decided I was ready to go back into law, studied the LPC full time in January 2018.
At the start of September, I went to an open day at Trowers & Hamlins in London and then I applied to the vacation scheme at their Manchester office. I found my non legal experience really gave me something to talk about at interview, so I would say embrace all types of work experience you have and use them to make you stand out.
What inspired you to apply to Trowers & Hamlins?
My LPC provider sent around an email saying there was a last-minute place on Trowers & Hamlins open day, so I thought why not attend. It was such a great experience. I had lunch with partners, associates, the HR team and trainees, and everyone I met was so friendly and down to earth, I felt like they really cared about us and what we were trying to achieve. I also found the social housing aspect of Trowers & Hamlins really interesting too.
What is a ‘normal’ day like?
I’m currently a first seat trainee in the Real Estate department and my day is always really varied. I’ll have a to do list of bigger projects or reports and then smaller tasks to complete. What I would say to anyone wanting to apply is that you get hands on client contact from day one, I was expected to pick up the phone and email clients directly.
There’s no photocopying or really heavy admin, you’re very much involved and should be proactive in your work. For example, I completed a lease in the third week of my seat which I really didn’t expect so early on in my training contract.
What are some of the highlights of your training contract?
My training contract kicked off in London for three weeks. This is where we did the Professional Skills Course and a number of other induction sessions to really get to know the firm and our intake.
I was initially nervous for this part, but it’s been great to get to know everyone you’re training with and bond with the rest of your cohort. Trowers & Hamlins don’t hire a lot of trainees and this is because they want them to stay and be the future partners of the firm.
What was the application process like? What was the hardest part? What did you enjoy the most?
For me, it was probably the initial application. I had a weekend to turn it around so there was a real pressure to get it done on time and meet the deadline. To any aspiring solicitor looking to get a training contract, you must get your initial application right. Don’t give the recruitment team any reason to put it to one side.
The part I enjoyed the most was that I never felt like I didn’t know what was going on. The speed of feedback and the organisation of the recruitment process really made me feel confident and I was kept informed throughout the process.
What is the company culture like at Trowers and Hamlins
It’s a place where you can bring yourself to work. This sounds cheesy I know, but it is true. We all have really different personalities, but everyone is really friendly. The open plan office means you’ll sit next to senior members of the team.
Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of Trowers & Hamlins. They champion this internally and externally at various events. So, if you’re looking for a big commercial firm that doesn’t feel like one – this is it.
Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a similar role at Trowers and Hamlins?
Research the firm, attend open days, talk to employees and this will spark a genuine passion and interest in that specific firm. This is how I knew Trowers & Hamlins was the right fit for me. So, when you’re applying, be realistic about what you can give a firm and what they can give you!
Want to know more about Trowers & Hamlins? Check out their live opportunities here.