Saloni graduated from the University of Bristol and studied law. We caught up with Saloni to find out more about her experiences at Trowers and Hamlins and her top tips for members wanting to follow in her footsteps.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I graduated from the University of Bristol and studied straight law. I had a paralegal job at another firm before I got my training contract, this helped me to decide the types of law I was interested in as I got to experience the banking and real estate practice areas.
What inspired you to apply to Trowers & Hamlins?
The affordable housing practice area really interested me because of the positive social impact of the work. I found that it was a great opportunity for me to work with public and private sector clients and because of this, the work I was doing meant a lot more to me, which is rare to say in a corporate organisation.
When going to networking events and open evenings it was also important that my values were mirrored in a firm I was applying to. When I was researching the firm, the culture of Trowers & Hamlins really stood out to me, in particular I found the percentage of female partners really impressive, for a London firm.
How have you found your training contract so far?
My seats have all been really different, I’ve done a seat in Real Estate, then I went abroad to Oman and now I’m in Banking and Finance.
In Real Estate, I was able to work on large property transactions. I was also able to manage some of my own small residential transactions. This was great because it meant I was the main point of contact for the client and I got to see a case from inception to completion, so project management was definitely a skill I developed here.
I went to Oman for six months and this was a completely different experience. I worked in the energy and renewable energy sector and found it interesting because I had to consider the regional political issues. One of the deals I won’t forget about was helping to assist a Palestine authority to build an independent power plan in the region.
Outside of work, living in Oman was such a unique experience. I got my open diving qualification and, on the weekends, we would go up to the mountains.
What is a ‘normal’ day like?
I’m currently in Banking and Finance and because of the transactional nature of the work, it’s very unpredictable.
Normally, I would start the day around 9.15 and grab a coffee from the onsite canteen (which is subsidised!), I would then check my emails and see if there’s anything I need to reply to straight away. The day from there is really varied. For example, today I had a meeting with property colleges about a transaction. It’s busy, unpredictable but very wide ranging.
Last week, I had a meeting with the GLA (Greater London Authority), which was really interesting because all of the parties were present, and I was exposed to the negotiations and could see how the lawyers reacted to one another. I gained a lot from this meeting and took down a lot of notes.
What are some of the highlights of your training contract?
I would say working in Oman and living there for 6 months was such a unique experience.
Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a similar role at Trowers and Hamlins?
I think as a student it’s very easy to panic if you don’t get a training contract straight away. I was in this bracket and that’s why I decided to become a paralegal first.
If you have any commercial experience of a part time job, use this in your interviews. For example, I tutored people part time, and this meant I was able to manage client expectations and communicate complex theories into simple terms.
Consider your transferable skills from a job and use these to your advantage. If you worked in a supermarket or as a retail assistant, this has allowed you to see how a business operates and makes profit. Remember a law firm is a business and commercial acumen isn’t just found in legal roles.
Secondly, if you get rejected – always persevere and ask for feedback. I got so many rejections, but I saw it as my practice in the run up to my Trowers & Hamlins interview. See a rejection as your opportunity to improve the next time and don’t give up. It’s hard to get a training contract but if you keep going, you’ll get there eventually.
Finally, be yourself. When it comes to assessment centres don’t try to be anyone else or someone different. Use your own personal experiences this will make you stand out.
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