My name is Ruairi Coyne. I was educated in state comprehensive schools my whole academic life, before going to the University of Cambridge to study Land Economy (i.e. a combination of economics, law, and policy). I chose this course due to its breadth – I had no idea that I would want to become a commercial lawyer when I submitted my UCAS application!
Outside of my studies at university, I participate in boxing and football at a very low skill level! I have also acted as an events organiser for my college, and I will be writing for a markets magazine alongside sourcing sponsorships and partnerships for Cambridge’s technology and enterprise society this year. Some of my other hobbies include making jewellery, going to galleries, and going out for drinks/meals with my mates.
What inspired you to apply for this role with Goodwin?
Firstly, I really believe in Goodwin’s unique business model. The Firm has successfully specialised in – and creates synergies across – five core practice areas (Finance, Life Sciences, Private Equity, Real Estate, and Technology). This means Goodwin can add value for clients operating in what appear to be markets with the greatest growth potential both now and in the future. From a personal perspective, this informed me that I would be working with top clients in the largest industries throughout my training contract, offering me a great amount of exposure and career development.
Next, before I applied, I had a very positive impression of Goodwin’s brand image. An inspection of the Firm’s website indicated that Goodwin provided a number of initiatives to support underrepresented groups in the legal profession (e.g. CRED), which would enable me to be a proactive ally. Additionally, the clients Goodwin services suggested that lawyers at the Firm have a strong grasp of entrepreneurship and the difficulties that modern businesses face, which appealed to my interest in start-ups that has grown throughout university. Having completed a vacation scheme at Goodwin, I can confirm that there is an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) that comes from the very top, and that there very much is an entrepreneurial culture in the London office. Few firms in the legal sector compete with Goodwin in this regard.
Finally, I wanted to work at a firm that coupled challenging work with a collegial environment. I believed Goodwin’s “learning by doing” approach to training would provide the challenge I sought. Simultaneously, the great lengths future Goodwin joiners went to to help me with my initial application, once I had reached out to them on LinkedIn, indicated Goodwin also had a supportive culture. I am glad to confirm, following my internship, that Goodwin provides trainees with challenging work alongside a network of lawyers and professionals willing to provide advice and guidance if you so require it.
What is your role at Goodwin?
Future Trainee Solicitor (following a successful Summer Vacation Scheme)
What has been the single most important thing you learnt so far in your job?
On the vacation scheme, I think I learnt the importance of nurturing work relationships with people of all levels of seniority. By listening and observing peoples’ work processes, I was able to undertake tasks well beyond what I thought my capabilities were. This was both enriching and fulfilling.
How important is diversity to you and what is Goodwin doing in this space at the moment?
DEI is incredibly important to me. Though I do not personally suffer from the systemic injustices those from minority communities do on a daily basis, I feel I am morally obligated to support said communities through strong allyship. Consequently, I made the decision early on that I would train at a commercial law firm with good DEI practices.
Goodwin has strong DEI practices that are advanced from the top: in a Q&A meeting firm Chairman Robert Insolia held with the London Summer Vacation Scheme cohort, supporting DEI was expressed as a fundamental value of the Firm, without which the Firm would certainly fail. In demonstration of this value, Goodwin provides initiatives that support women, the LGBTQ+ community, and ethnic minorities. Furthermore, the Firm encourages the offices in its global network to promote DEI specific to their regions: for instance, Goodwin’s UK offices conducted events in celebration of Black History Month last October.
Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a role at Goodwin?
The same standard advice for all commercial law firm applications applies to Goodwin: conduct research into recent deals; investigate the strength of the Firm’s DEI practices and consider how you can engage with/support such practices etc. However, I would also highly recommend reaching out to Goodwin employees on LinkedIn for application advice/just to have a chat about the Firm. For me, the incredible assistance I was given by future joiners was a deciding factor in choosing to train at Goodwin. I have been and will continue to pass the favour forward myself. Additionally, I would also recommend expanding your knowledge of the core industries Goodwin practices in. I am personally interested in entrepreneurship: this meant I had a basic understanding of some of the terminology and struggles of the clients serviced by Goodwin’s Funds and Technology & Life Sciences teams, prior to my internship.