Name: Jennifer Brophy
Firm: Blake Morgan
Position: Trainee solicitor
University: University of Law
Hobbies: Running, painting, travel
Current department: On secondment to BAE Systems
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 30/2
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
At school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and I kept my options open by doing a mixture of science and arts A Levels. Later, I did some work experience at a law firm in London and it gave me a good flavour of what life as a solicitor would be like. The mixture of problem-solving and client contact appealed to me, as well as the fact that it is a well-respected career with strong progression opportunities.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
The main challenge is the sheer number of other applicants who want a training contract just as badly as you do.
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
‘What is your philosophy on life’ was a tricky one, as I didn’t know what angle to tackle it from. Giving a comedy answer did cross my mind, but I played it safe and said something like, ‘I think if you want to achieve something, there’s always a way to do it if you’re willing to work hard enough’.
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…
I’m currently on secondment in the commercial legal team at BAE Systems. The role mostly involves drafting agreements such as NDAs and loan agreements, and providing legal advice to the business units within the company group.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
At BAE, I’ve loved learning more about what the business does. Some of the brains working here, and the cutting-edge technology they come up with, are awe-inspiring. I’ve also enjoyed putting what I learnt in my degree into practice, and receiving compliments on my work from clients always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?
How much I would enjoy working in tax. It sounds dull as dishwater, but it actually involves a lot of creative thinking and ‘Eureka’ moments. It helped that the partner who I worked with was a great teacher.
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
Top secret! (It’s actually an email from a colleague about cakes for her birthday).
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
I have a colleague who normally has his ear to the ground, so I catch up on any gossip with him over lunch or a drink after work.
Describe your training partner in three words.
Dedicated, friendly, intelligent.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).*
- I love dogs.
- I love pickles.
- I love jigsaws.
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
I have a friend who works in advertising, and sometimes we envy each other’s jobs as they are so different. It wasn’t a job I had considered until I met her about a year ago, but the creative side to it is something I think I would enjoy in another life.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
Gain as much experience as you can, as it will be invaluable both to understand where your strengths and interests lie and also to draw upon in interviews.
*I love dogs, I don’t love pickles, and I love jigsaws. Jigsaws are the new going out.