Profile: Laura Battley

“The legal world is very competitive and I would therefore suggest that everyone who wants to pursue a career in law should study hard and try to obtain the best possible grades throughout their entire degree.”

Name: Laura Battley
Firm: Slaughter and May
Position: Trainee solicitor
University: University of Essex (Law) and Kings College London (Masters in Law)
Where did you study the LPC? BPP, Holborn
Hobbies: Travelling and discovering new places, photography, music, theatre, eating out with friends, walking and dancing
Department: Corporate/commercial

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

When I first chose to study law I wasnt sure whether or not I wanted to become a solicitor (or, in fact, whether I wanted to pursue a legal career at all), but I was interested in exploring law and knew that a law degree could also be used in a number of other fields. After thoroughly enjoying the first two years of my degree, I came to the conclusion that law was the right career choice for me and I decided that I wanted to become a solicitor.

What does your typical day involve?

Ive been asked this question a number of times and I find it virtually impossible to describe a typical day for me at Slaughters due the wide variety of work Im involved in on a day-to-day basis. As a trainee, you often find yourself working on a vast array of matters and performing a number of very different tasks. For example, in a corporate seat you may find yourself reviewing contracts in preparation for a takeover bid, drafting documents, attending a client meeting or a conference with counsel, proof-reading important documents, researching a complicated legal issue for your supervisor or preparing advice for a client on how a change in the law will affect their business.

Whats the biggest misconception of the legal profession?

Trainees spend most of their time making coffee and photocopying.

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

The legal world is very competitive and I would therefore suggest that everyone who wants to pursue a career in law should study hard and try to obtain the best possible grades throughout their entire degree. It is important to be motivated and focused but it is also important to make sure that you have a balanced and enjoyable student life, which involves plenty of outside interests and hobbies (and this will also ensure that you have something interesting to talk about at interview).

What are the biggest pitfalls students should try to avoid when pursuing a legal career?

When applying for training contracts, students should avoid sending applications to too many law firms. The more applications you send, the less time you can spend on each one and the more mistakes you are likely to make. It is important to do your research to work out which firms you would genuinely like to work at and then apply only to
those few.

What are the common attributes of successful candidates?

The trainees at Slaughters are all very different and come from a variety of different backgrounds. But to be a trainee at Slaughters, it is important to have a strong academic record as the work is certainly intellectually demanding. You need to be willing to accept a challenge and it is essential that you are able to work well with others.