The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

Insider report Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Maya Nuyts took part in a vacation scheme at Sullivan &Cromwell in July 2019. She studied law at theUniversity of Cambridge and is currently studying the LPCat BPPLawSchool.

No of scheme places 6-8

What did you do while on the vacation scheme? The purpose of a vacation scheme is twofold: to immerse yourself in the life of a trainee and understand what a career in a City law firm is like; and to get to know the firm itself in terms of the work and culture, beyond its website and reputation. My experience at Sullivan & Cromwell delivered on both purposes – I was given live work as if I was a real trainee. For example, I took over the daily task of examining the German newspapers in order to keep a client up to date about the market; assisted in research and drafting in relation to a future restructuring; compiled a list of a company’s subsidiaries to create a group structure chart; and undertook that classic responsibility of City trainees – due diligence – for an M&A deal. True to the nature of the training contract at Sullivan & Cromwell, we were not placed in trainee seats but instead experienced a wide variety of work, which helped me to form a global picture of the firm. There were also social events, including an evening at the theatre with the current trainees and lunches and dinners with associates and partners. It was invaluable to meet the team in an informal environment and get a glimpse into the culture of the firm – I was struck by the bonds between the lawyers which transcended seniority. What did you feel that you gained from the placement? I gained incredible experience, both of trainee work and the wider firm. Nothing provides a greater understanding of what the career involves than experiencing the work first-hand and this is what made the scheme so exceptional, as working on live transactions for real clients alongside trainees and qualified lawyers enabled me to become fully immersed in the job. Which were the most enjoyable - and most challenging - aspects of the scheme? The most challenging aspect was also the most enjoyable, which was the exposure to real work. It was daunting to know that the brief I was drafting would go through the trainee, associate and partner to ultimately be seen by the client, and manage multiple priorities at once, but this really made me feel part of the firm and it was so rewarding to be involved in real work. I also enjoyed the social aspect, particularly the monthly pizza lunch – I sat next to a US-qualified partner and had a very interesting chat about working at the firm and how he came to London. Did the scheme end with a training contract interview or some other kind of further recruitment process? On the last day of the scheme there is an informal review of how you have gotten on, which is quite different to a formal training contract interview. I had a discussion with Kirsten, the graduate recruitment manager, about how I had found the scheme and my plans for the future, then had a friendly discussion with a partner about how I was feeling. Most of the assessment takes place throughout the two weeks. Is there one key thing that you took away from the experience that you would pass on as advice to others? On a vacation scheme, you get as much out as you put in, so arrive enthusiastic, motivated and ready to experience everything.

Location of schemes London

Length of schemes 2 weeks

Remuneration (per week) £500

Dates of schemes June 2021 July 2021 Closing date for applications 15 January 2021

Application procedure By CV (including a full classification and percentage breakdown of all academic results) and a covering letter to traineesolicitors@ For full contact information and details of Training Contract, see the firm’s full entry in the main directory on p401

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



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