Are you enjoying Bright Network?

Securing a Vacation Scheme with Goodwin - Olly's story

Book open Reading time: 4 mins

My name is Olly. I come from the north coast of Northern Ireland and studied Law at Durham University. Whilst at university, I was a political editor-in-chief for a university newsletter called the Corporate Law Journal, the social secretary of my college’s lacrosse team, and very recently completed my dissertation which focused on SPACs. I found a real passion for cooking during lockdown and now love whipping up experimental dishes for my friends and family to try out. I am an avid sports fan, supporting Manchester United (unfortunately) whilst also following Formula 1 and rugby. I am also very passionate about going to the gym and love exploring cities coffee shops to sample their top espresso’s.

What inspired you to apply for this role with Goodwin?

My primary reason for applying to Goodwin was due to their unique five-industry focus. This approach enables trainees to gain first-class training and experiences across diverse industries allowing them to explore their broad set of interests to determine which area of law they are truly passionate about. Possessing personal interests in the fields of private equity and life sciences, it made Goodwin the destination at the top of my list.

Goodwin’s reputation for supporting their clients’ needs across the entirety of their life cycle was another key aspect which drew me to the firm. The best example of this is Goodwin’s longstanding relationship with Moderna, whom they have advised since their launch in 2010, all the way through to their position as a household name within the pharma industry today. This appealed to me as it provides trainees with a comprehensive exposure across a variety of work with one client, which could involve advising on a regulatory approval, intellectual property issues, IPOs and many more types of work.

Crucially, Goodwin’s immense growth over recent years, both in terms of lateral hires of partners from other major firms and in respect of their revenues, strongly attracted me to the firm. This growth was very important to me as I wanted to work at a firm which has a strong sense of purpose and direction and will thus offer me the opportunity to work on the most stimulating work that the legal industry has to offer going into the future.

What do you find most interesting with the sector/industry you’re in?

During my time on Goodwin’s vacation scheme, I sat in the Tech and Life Sciences practice which primarily involved working alongside start-ups seeking investment. What I found most interesting was the close relationship that Goodwin’s lawyers built with the extremely talented individuals who had set up these rapidly growing and fascinating businesses. I was able to join board meetings alongside clients in the climate and food tech industries to learn about their businesses models and anticipate any challenges their businesses may encounter. Building these relationships is what drives me to become a lawyer at Goodwin as it offers the opportunity to form connections with extremely innovative entrepreneurs and commence a journey with them to grow their business and be part of their success.  

What is the company culture like?

In my week at Goodwin, I found that the firm struck a cultural balance between being extremely hard-working, entrepreneurial and ambitious whilst also maintaining a particularly friendly, encouraging and supportive environment which I believe has enabled Goodwin to achieve its remarkable level of growth and success.

How important is diversity to you and what is Goodwin doing in this space at the moment?

Diversity is of crucial importance within organisations, as I believe in order for law firms such as Goodwin to prosper and serve the needs of their clients effectively, they must be reflective of the world they live in, which necessitates actively promoting the involvement of people from all backgrounds of society within their organisation. Goodwin realise the importance of diversity within the legal industry, which was apparent on the vacation scheme when we attended a Diversity and Inclusion session where we heard from lawyers such as Ray Fang who is a CRED (Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity) leader who works hard to drive positive change within Goodwin.

Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a role at Goodwin?

My three key tips for succeeding in your application to Goodwin would include firstly, connecting your interests to Goodwin’s strengths and focus. For example, you may want to join Goodwin as they are a powerhouse within the area of venture capital, which you could then tie to an experience you have had within the venture capital space, whether that be reading a particular book, studying a module at university or having some work experience. In short, show how your skills and Goodwin would complement one another.

Secondly, it is crucial to show curiosity and eagerness to learn. Goodwin want their lawyers to be inquisitive and have the ability to constantly learn new things to advise clients on the constantly changing environment. Therefore, ask your interviewers questions and reach out to trainees and future trainees on LinkedIn to gain valuable insights on Goodwin which can simply be found online.  

Finally, and most importantly, be yourself. My interviewing experience at Goodwin was incredibly relaxed and conversational in contrast to other interviews I have had, and so this gives you a great opportunity to show your personality. Goodwin want to recruit brilliant people but crucially people who they would enjoy spending every day with at the office.