Name: Julio Filho
Position: Trainee solicitor
Degree: MA International Law and Human Rights
University: United Nations-mandated University for Peace
Hobbies: cooking, theme parks, football
Current department: Commercial disputes
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 12/4
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
The idea of having to deliver excellent results in a highly pressurised environment for clients with interests all over the world – and be paid well for that – fascinates me.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
I was not educated in the UK. I attended school and university in Brazil and Costa Rica. As those institutions are not well known in the UK, that box was not easily ticked.
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
Question: “What do you think of me?”
Answer: “What would you like to hear?”
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…
People in my team are dealing with an incredible variety of commercial litigation matters, from partnership disputes and debt recovery through to breach of confidentiality and environmental pollution. We are constantly busy and around me, at the moment, I can see lawyers and trainees drafting court documents, preparing trial bundles and on the phone to clients and counsel discussing settlement strategies.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
RPC is a growing firm so there are many opportunities to take part in business development initiatives.
I also really like our open-plan office. I’ve learnt so much just from listening to lawyers’ phone calls to clients and their litigation counterparts.
What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?
Although I was expecting a very high level of responsibility as a trainee at RPC, I was not expecting to run my own files so quickly. I am now in my second seat and I have been given the opportunity to be in charge of a number of files from the moment instructions were received. I liaise with clients routinely and have even negotiated settlement with the other side.
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
It is a fundraising email from a fellow trainee who is about to swim 14.1km in the Thames in the Henley Bridge to Bridge Challenge. RPC’s employees are divided into houses (Reynolds, Porter and Chamberlain) which compete against themselves to win challenges like this one and raise money for charity.
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
The Café. We have an amazing view of St Katharine Docks and there you will often see a number of lawyers and trainees having a tea break. The trainees tend to have lunch together in the Café as well so it is always a good place to find out what is happening across the firm. And, of course, we also have a Twitter account (@LifeinaLawFirm) run by trainees for the extra gossip!
Describe your training partner in three words.
Busy, professional, inspiring
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
- I am older than my current supervisor
- I am a Cordon Bleu qualified cook
- I took a river boat to work this morning.
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
When applying for a training contract: focus on a limited number of firms and research them thoroughly.
Once you secure your training contract: do something completely different from law, something you have always wanted to try (a course? a trip? a hobby?).
Once you start your training: work really hard and show enthusiasm – it will be noticed and many doors will be opened.