Name: Emma Maguire
Position: Trainee solicitor
Degree: Law LLB (Hons)
University: London South Bank
Hobbies: Reading, theatre, baking, netball
Current department: Corporate – London
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: Numerous/two
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
I knew that I wanted to work in something which required constant learning to motivate and challenge me. I enjoy being challenged and presented with a problem and reaching a successful conclusion. I also wanted to work in an environment which required team work but also enabled individuals to take on responsibility and pursue tasks. I wanted to build a rapport with long standing clients and work for a firm that strives to be and do better.
There may also have been outside influences namely, a film based on a John Grisham novel A Time To Kill!
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
Maintaining positivity! You spend hours on each individual application, and send off several applications which warrant no response or negative responses. It is extremely difficult to approach each fresh application with positivity and to continue to persevere.
I felt that I was being penalised but I couldn’t understand the reasoning for this; my grades were good, I had several extra-curricular pursuits while at school, university and law school, I had been undertaking work experience since I was 15 years old and I had been working in different legal environments since I left law school. I found the lack of feedback difficult as I wanted to improve on what was lacking but didn’t know how to go about this.
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
I do not recall being asked anything too difficult during my training contract interviews. However, I did spend weeks preparing and I am glad I did because if I hadn’t have done so, I wouldn’t have been able to answer some of the questions put to me about the legal world and the firm itself.
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…
I am currently in the corporate team which deals with the buying and selling of companies, in the main. It comprises reviewing and amending Articles of Association, completing Companies House forms, reading Share Purchase Agreements, drafting Document Lists and creating bibles of documents amongst other things. It can be a very fast paced role and can include some rather late nights if a deal is completing.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
The type of work I am given as a trainee is challenging and motivating; it shows that the firm instils trust in us from a very junior status. That in turn buoys you to want to do better for your firm and your clients.
Client contact is second to none and I enjoy meeting clients in order to better understand the problem from their point of view and how that may affect their business. This enables us to provide tailor made solutions.
What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?
I think it is sometimes very easy to think that getting a training contract is the last step on a long road but that isn’t the case at all. The training contract itself is demanding and challenging and you need to remain focused, motivated and committed throughout; it truly is a two year interview and that needs to be borne in mind.
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
The PAs always know the office gossip so the best place to go is the kitchen or break out room when they have their lunch.
Describe your training partner in three words.
Hard working, thorough and good sense of humour.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
- I spent Christmas in Australia
- I like to relax by making origami
- I don’t like wine
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
I have wanted to be a lawyer since I was 11 years old so for me it has always been my dream vocation; however, when things weren’t going to plan with regards to my legal career, I thought about being a wedding planner and started looking into this.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
It has to be something you really want; it can be a long road and quite a difficult one. You have to remain focused, motivated and positive so it really needs to be something you are desperate for in order to maintain the energy to pursue a career in law.