The first event of the autumn season kicked off on the 3rd September. We welcomed 123 of our most outstanding law students graduating in 2020 to the Banking Hall in London to personally meet 11 world leading law firms. This exclusive event gave the members the opportunity to find out more about what Vacation Schemes and training programs the firms offers and directly network with trainees, partners and recruitment teams. 96% of the attendees told us they gained insights at the event that they couldn’t get elsewhere.
“I really enjoyed the fact that you got to find out things that you can't find out elsewhere. You gained a personal contact with the workers at these major firms we met and you get fast replies to personal questions which you wouldn't be able to find anywhere else” - Brad from Reading University
All our events are about making connections - with leading firms, but also with fellow members on the network. Therefore we started of the day with a casual networking session lead by our Founder & CEO James Uffindell. The aim to this session is to build their network with other students in a similar position and share their personal stories.
Two of our Bright Network alumni Raza Nazar and Lucia Azzi shared their success stories on how they secured a role as Future Trainee Solicitor at Slaughter and May and Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP. In addition, they were on hands to answer all our members questions and give them their top tips on how to secure a role and create an outstanding application.
The day continued in a similar fashion; a panel session where the members got to hear about what to expect in commercial law. They meet directly with representatives from Covington & Burling LLP, Herbert Smith Freehills, Macfarlanes, Mishon de Reya, Shearman & Sterling and Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP. Here are a handful of quotes from the panel:
What is an important characteristic you look after in a candidate during an interview?
“In the group exercise you want to come across as someone who is inherently collaborative. You're proving to the assessors that you are someone who works well in a team and that you're not someone who is absorbed with winning arguments. It's a test to see how you collaborate with your peers, not a measure of how well you can dominate a conversation" – Ajay Malhotra, Senior Associate at Herbert Smith Freehills.
"Standout interviewees show an intellectual curiosity, achievement and thorough research. We want engaged people and, importantly, try not to be scared of the process because fear shows and it's hard to exude confidence when you're afraid/ put confidence into someone who's afraid"- Jacques McChesney. Partner at Shearman & Sterling.
Next up: Structured Networking. The energy in the room was remarkable and our members had prepared some great questions to all the partner firms including; Convington, Herbert Smith Freehills, Linklaters, Macfarlanes, Mishcon de Reya, RPC, Shearman & Sterling, Slaughter and May, Watson Farley & Williams, Weil and White & Case. This was a unique opportunity to meet each firm in smaller groups to ask the questions which matter to them.
“I’ve met a lot of people from several different firms all in one place, something I would never have had the opportunity to do otherwise. There's been a lot of access to high level partners who have given us fantastic information and who are also trying to engage you as an applicant.” - Joe from Bristol University
The structured networking was followed by the last panel session of the day. Students gained top tips for obtaining a vacation scheme during a panel of partners from Linklaters, RPC, Slaughter and May, Watson Farley & Williams and White & Case. Here are some highlights from the session:
Is there any common mistake that applicants do to look out for?
“Being afraid to give the wrong answer. You are not being asked a question to be tested if you will get the answer right or wrong, you are being tested if you can tackle a hard question in a stressful environment. Meaning do not panic, they will give you a follow up question to test your ability to have a discussion. Remember that this is what Lawyers do all the time. So, keep calm, take your time and give thoughtful answers” - David Johnson, Partner at Slaughter and May
What really makes an application to stand out?
“Be involved in something that includes teamwork. As a lawyer, you will always have to work as a part of a team. Show anything that you have done, even if it's in a sports team or society. It will have a big positive impact on your application.” - Yohanna Wilson, Graduate Resourcing and Development Advisor at White Case
In true Bright Network spirit, we finished off the day with an Award Ceremony. This is when our partner firms give a reward to the top law students on the network for their achievements and excellent performance throughout their time at university.
Enjoyed learning about our Future Lawyers 2018 event? Excited to be a part of our next Future Lawyers event? Register your interest here to be the first to know when applications open.