The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

Insider report Watson Farley & Williams LLP

Michelle Rance took part inWatson Farley &Williams’ vacation scheme inSummer 2019 andwent on to secure a training contract which commences in 2021.

No of scheme places Up to 30

What did you do while on the vacation scheme? I sat in the finance department for both weeks of the scheme and did a variety of real work, from legal research to checking that condition precedent documents were in order. I also drafted guarantee documentation for a loan transaction which involved one of the world’s largest ship owners. There were presentations from associates on each practice area which were good opportunities to ask questions and learn about the different departments and types of work. Throughout the week we also worked in groups to create a group presentation, so we had to manage our time between our tasks. There were a few different social events, including a firm-wide summer rooftop drinks event which meant that we could speak to people of all levels of seniority in an informal setting and get a feel for the culture. Compared to other vacation schemes, I felt that this one struck a good balance between work, group assessments and social events. What did you feel that you gained from the placement? You can’t really get an idea of a firm until you are there for a period of time, so it was good to find out first-hand what would be expected of a trainee. All the matters I worked on were live matters and I really felt like my work was valued. For example, one of the documents I helped to draft was reviewed by the partner and then sent to the client that day to sign! It was particularly satisfying to feel involved in the firm in this way. I was also glad to be involved in shipping transactions as this is an area of the law that I am interested in. I really enjoyed working on complex and high-value transactions and directly with a partner on several pieces of work. I left the scheme having learnt a lot and feeling excited and eager to start as a trainee. The most challenging part was trying to balance the workload and not spread yourself too thinly. You want to take on as much as possible and reflect yourself as best you can to your supervisor, but the work must be completed to deadlines and to the best of your ability. It gives you a real taste of a trainee’s workload. Which were the most enjoyable - and most challenging - aspects of the scheme? Did the scheme end with a training contract interview or some other kind of further recruitment process? You are assessed through the scheme by your supervisor and others you work with, and the group presentation is also part of the assessment. There was a final interview in the second week with a partner and a member of the graduate recruitment team. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions – even basic ones like how to use the printer! Maximise your time to find out as much information as possible about the firm and the work they do – it demonstrates that you’re taking a genuine interest in the firm. Also don’t be afraid to show your human side when talking to people. Building a rapport is a skill expected of a lawyer so it’s good to show that you can have a real conversation. Is there one key thing that you took away from the experience that you would pass on as advice to others?

Location of schemes London

Length of schemes 1 or 2 weeks

Remuneration (per week) £325

Dates of schemes Spring and Summer 2021

Closing date for applications 8 January 2021

Application procedure Online application

For full contact information and details of Training Contract, see the firm’s full entry in the main directory on p412

Remember to cite The LawCareers.Net Handbook on your application form if you apply to this law firm.



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