Name: Ayah Snober
Firm: Foot Anstey
Position: Trainee solicitor
Degree: Law LLB
University: University of Bristol
Hobbies: Piano, kickboxing and travelling.
Current department: Corporate
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 12/2
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
When I was younger I had no idea what I wanted to do and my career ambitions varied from dentist to accountant over my school years. While researching possible careers I began to look into the law and the role of a solicitor. I decided to study law at university as I believed it would teach me some really invaluable skills and I was really interested in the way in which law sat behind every aspect of our lives without us even realising or giving it a second thought!
During university I interned at a few law firms and found I was really enjoying the work I was doing, more than anything else I had come across. I met a lot of ambitious and driven people who really motivated me to apply to TCs and I loved the challenges that came with the job (…..also, who wouldn’t want to be a lawyer after watching Suits *eye roll*).
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
Most probably mastering the skill of application writing; and I really do think it is a skill. I found it challenging to try and succinctly fit ‘ why you wanted to be a solicitor’ or ‘why law’ into 250 words.
I submitted 11 of my 12 TC applications in July of my second year. At this stage I did not really have a good idea of what I was looking for in a firm and I was simply applying out of ‘second year law school pressure’ to secure a TC since it was what everyone else was doing. At this point I was approaching the application process as though it was an exam style essay because I had not asked for help from my careers service and I had no idea how to approach these applications effectively. My flowery language and over explanation left me with little space to show what I had to offer.
Having realised the error of my ways, I took a year off applying for any TCs to really figure out what I wanted to do at which point I found Foot Anstey and applied to them during my LPC. What I learnt: get to the point quickly and know what you want.
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
When I interviewed at Foot Anstey I was actually asked the question, “How many petrol stations are in the UK?”
Preparation is definitely key to these questions because having read about similar questions in the past, I knew that they were really just looking for the way that you approached and analysed it as opposed to an actual answer. I don’t remember exactly how I answered but I said something along the lines of there are probably the most in London because it has the densest population….. (just FYI, it was about 8,500 in 2013).
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…
We do a lot of private equity and venture capital deals as well as M&A deals. It is really interesting work and I am helping a range of fee earners with due diligence, drafting core and ancillary documents as well as working alongside other fee earners who advise charities.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
One of the most enjoyable aspects of working here is living in the South West.
This was one of the factors that really attracted me to Foot Anstey and it was on my list of training contract non-negotiables. London is great but I enjoy the experience of the South West a lot more (I can say that because I lived in London for 13 years!). The quality and standard of work I am doing is just as high but the hours and atmosphere are great for achieving that perfect work-life balance.
What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?
Probably the range of work and people I deal with. In each of my seats I worked alongside around a dozen fee earners and each fee earner specialised in a different area so I was very fortunate to be exposed to a lot of very high quality work and a range of clients in different sectors.
Working with so many fee earners really allows you to not only build on your knowledge but observe how different people approach issues in different ways and it really helped me to develop my own style and approach.
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
Very boring… my latest email was me “printing 2 PDF” a word doc report I had just completed.
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
Probably from another trainee over lunch or coffee in the Exchange (kitchen!)
Describe your training partner in three words.
Very good listener.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
- I have been sky diving three times.
- I have owned six dogs in the past seven years.
- I have run a 275km relay race through the desert.
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
I probably would have worked in the charity sector, possibly for an NGO aiding the refugee crisis. I would have also done a masters in something like Human Rights or Global Development.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
As I didn’t have a training contract when I graduated from university, I debated whether I should do my LPC or not.
Deciding to do it, despite not having a TC, was honestly one of the best decisions I made because without the networking opportunities and careers advice I received throughout that year, I probably would not be where I am today. So my number one piece of advice is, if in doubt, do your LPC!