Josias has done brilliantly to secure a Vacation Scheme at magic circle firm Slaughter & May. After attending both our Future Lawyers Top 100 and First Year Lawyers Top 100 events, Josias offers some great advice and insight into the application process.
Why did you choose this firm and this role?
It is no doubt that Slaughter and May is regarded by many as the most prestigious commercial law firm in the United Kingdom. When I attended the Bright Network Future Top 100 Lawyers event in September 2017, I met David Johnson, who explained to me the multi-specialist and international approach that Slaughter and May have. It caught my attention, and I decided to make an application for their work experience scheme.
What was the toughest part of the application process? And your favourite part?
The toughest part of the process was equally my favourite: the interview. My commercial awareness, interpersonal skills and legal work experience were all topics of discussion. There was also a short article upon which I had to engage in a short discussion with the interviewers. I was challenged during many parts of the interview. However, I think it was this challenge that made it enjoyable, as it encouraged me to think on my feet and be myself.
What three top tips would you give your fellow Bright Network members?
1. Be incredibly clear as to key questions: (1) why commercial law? (2) why this firm? and (3) why you? You will often include these in your application form, but make sure you read your application and cover letter again to make sure you can give consistent answers.
2. Engage in discussions with your friends about commercial articles you read in the Economist, The Times, The Guardian and the Financial Times. This will help you understand good arguments and counter-arguments. It means at interview you will have much greater confidence when speaking to the interviewers.
3. Be yourself. This may sound cliche, but law firms are not looking to trip you up. They want to see the best version of you, so the worst thing you can do is be someone you are not. It will also help come across more convincingly to interviewers.
What was the toughest question you faced at interview?
You've done the Ashurst vacation scheme. You're also the Ashurst Campus Ambassador. You're so good they've picked you twice. Why not Ashurst?