Stepping into the unknown

I began this blog because I felt out of place in the legal sphere. I felt like it wasn’t open to people like me. At Clifford Chance, I didn’t feel at all like this. They allowed me to feel like I belonged there.

10943717_10203774863949138_5161171544458839200_nOn 29th January, I was invited to Clifford Chance for an interview for the First Year Springboard Vacation Scheme. I can honestly say setting foot in a leading international law firm is as fantastic as it sounds!


My experience of Clifford Chance was incredible. Everyone I met was exceedingly kind, welcoming and helpful. I felt immediately at ease: something I did not expect when setting foot in Canary Wharf for the first time.

Accompanied by an overwhelming sense of pride, I looked up at the 32-floor glass palace that is 10 Upper Bank Street. I will never forget the moment I stepped inside, and nervously made my way up to the 1st floor reception to wait to be briefed. The graduate recruitment manager, Aasha Tikoo, put me at ease immediately with kind words of praise, recognising the excellent achievement we’d all attained having reached the interview round of the process. After an hour’s interview, we were taken on a tour of the building to get a feel for what it would be like to work at Clifford Chance. The views, swimming pool, gym, cafeteria, bar… you name it, they’ve got it! Yet amongst all this grandeur, what stood out as the single most impressive part of the building was the people. Everyone was so friendly and answered all the burning questions I had about a career in commercial lIMG_20150129_191542aw.

My experience of Clifford Chance showed me that there is no reason to think I can’t be successful just because of my background. The two hours I spent there inspired me further in pursuit of my career goal. It showed me the importance of giving everyone the opportunity to succeed: if I hadn’t been invited to interview, I never would have had the opportunity to see Clifford Chance from the inside. I never would have known how at home I could feel in a leading, international commercial law firm. Everyone deserves to be given a chance. I am so grateful to Clifford Chance for giving me this opportunity.

So, I guess I’m trying to say that what’s important is that you seize every opportunity you are given or can make for yourself. Never give up: one day someone will open the door which gives you a glimpse into what the future could hold. And that glimpse will allow you to feel that it just might be possible. And that feeling will inspire you to continue on your journey to achieve your dream.

Thinking about a career in law? 5 Top Application Boosters

Read a good newspaper

Law is an integral part of modern life and plays a huge part in current events. Simultaneously, the law has to react to major developments in the world in order to function successfully. A good lawyer must keep themselves informed about a Read a quality newspapervariety of topics, from politics to finance. Law firms, therefore, are looking for applicants who have a broad understanding of major news stories. Reading quality newspapers such as The Times, The Financial Times and The Telegraph will help you discuss current affairs in an intelligent and detailed manner.

Don’t neglect your hobbies

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Law firms are looking for people they want to work with, rather than legal robots. Taking up a sport, learning a craft or volunteering for a local cause are all great ways to boost your application and help you stand out as an individual. Moreover, you can develop your talents, creativity, or team work skills, all while having fun!

Attend an insight day or open evening

With a huge variety of law graduate jobs, both in terms of specific practice fields and types of law firms and barrister chambers, it’s important to show that you know where and why you want to work at a specific firm. Many employers offer opportunities to find out more about what they do, such as open evenings. By attending these, you can gain a sense of what it would be like to work at a firm and build relationships with the lawyers currently working there. This means that upon application, you can show that you understand the working environment and can explain exactly why it is suited to you.

Brush up on your interview techniques

An interview is an important part of any application process and you should use it to really make a positive impression. Make sure you are prepared to answer any questions about your written application. A good thing to do is to read through it beforehand, imagine you are the interviewer, and think about what you would ask. Take a moment to think through any questions, and don’t be afraid to say you don’t know the answer – recruiters will know immediately if you are bluffing, so it’s better to just be honest. If you’re not feeling confident about an interview, make use of your university or college’s career service, as they can offer mock interviews and tailored advice.

Look out for tick-160426_640errors

Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes can be fatal to your applications. Graduate recruiters receive thousands of applications, and distinguishing between them can be really difficult. Misspelling a word provides them with an easy way to reject you; if you don’t check your application, which is really important for you, are you going to properly check a legal document which doesn’t personally affect you? Read over each application a number of times and don’t just rely on a spellchecker.