Ariana Gale, Olswang

Name: Ariana Gale 

Firm: Olswang

Position: Trainee solicitor

Degree: Philosophy and Psychology

University: Durham

Hobbies: Travel, gym, watching crime dramas while eating takeaway pizza

Current department: Media, Communications and Technology (3rd seat)

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 20+/4 – but 3 of these were for vacation schemes.

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

I previously worked in advertising sales, but after a few years I felt that I wasn’t being challenged. I spoke to a friend who was in law, and the job sounded so stimulating and varied that I felt it was something that could keep me interested for many years. 

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

I worried that having already had several different jobs, firms would question my commitment. I’m sure that some did rule me out for this reason, but the firms which I interviewed with made it clear that they saw my experience as a benefit. It was also up to me at interviews to make sure I communicated that I was in law for the long haul.  I also found that there was a particular art to completing application forms – I asked for a lot of advice (and constructive criticism) from my friends who were already in law, and the careers service at my law school.

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

I actually think the hardest part of interviews was often the networking lunch at the end. I quickly learned that it’s difficult to make a good impression when you are spitting crumbs at people, so my solution was always to be first to the food, eat quickly and then I could fully focus on conversing.

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

This department probably handles the broadest range of work. We cover a number of areas including entertainment, technology, advertising and consumer work, data protection, sourcing and telecoms – each partner has their particular specialty.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

Ariana Gale
Ariana Gale

I love it when you are given an interesting piece of work which you can completely lose yourself in for several hours, or when you have to get to grips with a particularly technical area of law. I also enjoy being surrounded by such intelligent and skilled people.

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

How different every department would be – it’s almost like starting a new job every time. Which can be both good and bad!

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

It’s from my supervisor, attaching a master services agreement we are drafting for a client, which I need to amend after a phone call with the client this morning.

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

Probably ‘last Friday drinks’ – which are held on the last Friday of every month (obviously). This is where all everyone from the firm’s London office gets together and enjoy drinks and snacks courtesy of Olswang!

Describe your training partner in three words.

Approachable, talented, busy.

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

My law career has taken me to:

  • The Supreme Court
  • Prison
  • The House of Lords

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

I’ve always thought I’d be a good luxury travel agent – partly because you would get to work with lots of clients and would have to be really organised, and partly because of the free travel!

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

Get as much experience as you can – this might be through pro bono work, or informal legal work experience. Getting a training contract is a very competitive process, and people who show initiative to do more than just the academic requirements will be more likely to stand out.

Also, make sure you apply for vacation schemes – there is probably less competition as the application deadline is earlier, and even if it doesn’t lead to a job then the two weeks’ experience will be invaluable when it comes to future applications and interviews.