Name: Beatrice Cameli
Firm: Hill Dickinson
Position: Trainee solicitor
University: Universita’ di Roma Tor Vergata (Italy) and College of Law (Moorgate – London)
Hobbies: Sailing and reading
Current department: Shipping Litigation
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 8/3
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
I have decided to become a solicitor because I believe it suits my personality. Since I was young, I have always approached problems and situations in a thoughtful and systematic way, always being very persistent and determined. I am also very persuasive and stubborn and my family always said I would make a good solicitor!
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
At the time when I applied there were a lot of candidates applying for the same firms. Most of these candidates were really strong and prepared and it was really tough to compete against them. As I was educated in Italy, I also found it challenging to sell my international background and education.
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
If I were an animal, what animal would I be? I said I would be a dolphin because they are smart, quick and they are funny!
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…
I am currently in the shipping litigation department where we deal with both wet and dry shipping disputes. We act for shipowners, operators, P&I Clubs, charterers, underwriters and shipyards in disputes relating to charterparties and bill of ladings, casualties, general average and other contentious and non-contentious matters.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
I have always been passionate about shipping and the maritime industry in general, therefore, dealing with matters that involve ships where I get to learn every day something new is the best part of my job. Winning an arbitration or a court case is also very enjoyable!
What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?
The pressure on networking and business development at such an early stage mainly due to the difficult times the shipping sector is experiencing.
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
The most recent email in my inbox is from counsel in relation to disclosure of a without prejudice letter in an arbitration which is due to start in three days’ time.
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
To the secretaries and admin staff! Trainees are also a good source but they only have 6 months to learn about a particular team’s gossip.
Describe your training partner in three words.
Experienced, hard-working, supportive
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
- I have sailed across the Atlantic ocean
- I have auditioned for the X Factor
- I was part of a TV advert
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
Probably something in the shipping area, maybe in the insurance sector.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
Be determined; do not let a rejection email from a law firm dishearten you because it does not mean you are not right for the firm but rather that the firm is not right for you.