The Bright Network team were delighted when Raza got in touch to tell us about his Training Contract with Slaughter and May! Raza kindly took the time to share some great advice for other Bright Network members who are set on pursuing a legal career.
Why did you choose Slaughter and May and why were you interested in a legal career?
Commercial law fascinates me because it's an enabling profession - you get to be at the apex of legal advice for companies, governments and individuals! I applied for a Training Contract at Slaughter and May because I wanted to be constantly challenged. I think the training is another factor that stood out, in particular the multi-specialist approach, which allows junior lawyers to become really versatile.
What were the different stages of the application process and how did you prepare?
The application process was quite efficient. It involved a cover letter and a CV, and I really liked this because it gave me plenty of space to show my interests and what I've been doing during my time at university. The interview day had a written exercise, a discussion of a current affairs article and my CV with two partners, followed by a short chat with a member of the Trainee Recruitment Team.
I prepared for the interview by discussing a range of news articles with my parents and younger brother in our living room. Everyone usually had a different opinion on the news/opinion item so it was the perfect recipe for developing cogent arguments!
What was the toughest part of the application process and what was your favourite part?
For me, the toughest part was preparing the CV. While there is plenty of space, there is not enough for your whole life story. I had to be discerning about what I wanted to include - my year 8 film festival certificate had to miss out.
My favourite part was meeting the partners. We talked about a variety of topics -- ranging from current legal debates to my manifesto promises for a university society election! I thought they were genuinely interested in getting to know me.
What three top tips would you give your fellow Bright Network members?
It's important for the application and especially the interview.
Don't write your responses beforehand.
Interviewers might notice if you are rehearsing a pre-prepared answer. While it may be tempting to do this, it is be better to be flexible and be ready to think on your feet. Answering the question that is specifically asked is a must, so listen carefully!
- Practice discussing news articles and your CV with a friend.
This really helps you get into the rhythm of not only giving clear and structured answers, but also having an interesting take on things.
What's your lucky charm or pre-interview ritual?
My lucky charm this year has definitely been sport - I spent the day before my Land and Trust Law exam playing cricket with my flatmates at Regent's Park. For this interview, I spent the day before playing table tennis with my brother in our garage.
How did being a Bright Network member help you secure this role?
Bright Network has been an incredible resource for me. I was lucky enough to attend the Future Lawyers Top 100 event where I met representatives from leading firms. You get a real sense of the culture of firms by speaking and networking with people at such a platform. Another key perk of being Bright Network member is their social media presence -- whether it is the website, videos or even email reminders about deadlines.