Isabelle Benedict, Cripps

Name: Isabelle Benedict

Firm: Cripps

Position: Trainee solicitor

Degree: Geography

University: University of Nottingham

Hobbies: Running, spending time with friends and family, and exploring new places.

Current department: Corporate

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 6/3

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

In my last year of university, our landlord tried to take our deposit from us without a justifiable cause. I spent two days in the library researching the law surrounding this and prevented our landlord from not paying us. I knew from then that law was the career I wanted to pursue.

What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?

Making the time to spend on each application in order to; i) find tailored and relevant information about the firms you were applying to; ii) write an engaging and unique response within the word limit given; and iii) juggle university deadlines and part-time nannying at the same time.

The most challenging part of the training contract application process however was not giving up; putting so much time and effort into each application and getting rejected is tough. It is so easy to doubt your ability as a result, but you never should.

What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?

Even though it is a clichéd question, it would be, “why you?”

Being able to sell yourself articulately can be difficult as it is something that doesn’t come naturally. Doing it in a way that is both modest and ‘stand-out’ is the trickiest part- I’m still learning!

Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…

The department deals with a wide variety of corporate work, both on the transactional and commercial sides. We also work with a wide variety of clients in a number of sectors, from large corporate entities to individuals so the work is incredibly diverse.

On a day to day basis you could be working on a share purchase agreement, documentation to facilitate a group re-organisation, a company incorporation, or a joint venture agreement.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

You are constantly learning (and reading!). There won’t be a day that goes by where I haven’t learnt something I did not know the day before.

What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?

The amount of time your colleagues, including the most senior members of the firm have for you. The work environment at Cripps is incredibly open so if you have a question or need help on a piece of work people are always more than happy to give you their time to assist.

Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?

An email from our professional support lawyer asking me to write a blog piece on the potential changes to AIM Rules.

Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?

The break-out areas on each floor are great for a chin-wag.

Describe your training partner in three words.

Engaging, determined and kind.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).

  • I have run a marathon.
  • I have completed the Haute Tour ski route.
  • I hate butter.

If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?

Architecture, although drawing has never been my strong suit!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?

Take up every opportunity that is offered to you, be it a networking, sport or social event; having a wide variety of experiences to offer up on your applications and at interviews is invaluable.

Try not to take things personally! This is true when applying for training contracts, vacation schemes as well as when undertaking your actual training. It is how you deal with the obstacles and challenges that might come your way that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Finally, don’t give up! It is a long and competitive road to qualification with probably (more than a few) bumps along the way, but if you are passionate and driven enough you will get there.