Name: Faye Biggin
Position: Trainee solicitor
University: University of Surrey
Hobbies: Cycling, cooking & travel
Current department: Corporate
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 26/5
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
I have been interested in law from an early age, obtaining work experience in a number of places prior to starting university. Seeing law in practice incentivised me to study further. Its far reaching implications and seeing how it interacted with both political and economic change underlined my commitment to training as a solicitor.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
I worked as a paralegal for a number of years before securing a training contract, so I often struggled to find the time to prepare applications. I approached applications in a strict way and would prepare them before my working day started, completing each one over the course of two weeks to make the process more manageable.
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
I think questions surrounding difficult situations and how you deal with negative feedback are often tough; you don’t want to flag weaknesses but it’s important to answer with integrity. I always answered honestly, while explaining how that enabled development going forward on future projects.
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…
I currently sit within the corporate team, who provide a range of services in the M&A and restructuring space. The team works closely with a range of different service lines within EY, who provide other services complementing law, enabling the client to receive tailored advice on their transaction as a whole, rather than having to go to a number of different firms on the same transaction.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
I enjoy being able to work with other teams within EY to provide a multi-disciplinary service to clients, allowing me to get to know many different people, as well as gain a deeper understanding of a client’s wider commercial concerns, rather than just legal. This has given me the chance to build strong relationships across the whole firm and with clients, both at a domestic and global level.
What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?
Working at one of the ‘Big 4’ is very different from working in a traditional law firm, and I think I underestimated their global reach and the opportunities that would be presented to me by virtue of working in a multi-disciplinary practice, including working with a wide range of clients. The offices are open plan, and everyone here (including senior members of staff) is extremely friendly, enabling you to get to know people in a variety of different areas from diverse backgrounds.
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
I am currently on a mini secondment, working with a different service lines within EY, so the most recent email is from the head of the team explaining that we will be meeting with key stakeholders to discuss how the project is going so far.
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
There are lots of break out areas within EY, as well as coffee shops within the buildings, so I would say in one of those places.
Describe your training partner in three words.
Approachable, innovative and hardworking.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
- It took me six attempts to pass my driving test
- I can run a marathon in sub 4:30
- I can speak four languages.
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
I am the cliché that dreamt of becoming a lawyer from an early age, but if I hadn’t decided to become a lawyer, I think I would have gone into dentistry.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
I paralegalled for a number of years before training contract offers came through so I would say resilience and determination are key. That being said, each role gave me invaluable experience that has enhanced both my professional and personal development and gave me lots of things to talk about in my applications.