Lisa Boyle, Gowling WLG

Name: Lisa Boyle

Firm: Gowling WLG

Position: Trainee solicitor

Degree: Law (BCL), LLM in Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

University: National University of Ireland, Galway and LLM at the University of Warwick

Hobbies: wine and cheese, preferably together (running occasionally to undo some of the wine and cheese damage)

Current department: Real Estate – Commercial Development and Investment

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 8/5

Lisa Boyle, Gowling WLG

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

Ally McBeal was my idol.

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

Ireland was gripped by recession when I finished my law degree and training contracts became increasingly scarce. As a result of this heightened competition, in an attempt to upskill/stand out from the crowd, many graduates, myself included, decided to undertake postgraduate degrees. I came to England to do my Masters, as the economic outlook was much brighter and there appeared to be many more opportunities. As it turned out, I was right. I got my TC with what was then Wragge & Co before I had even finished my year in Warwick.

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

I think one of the toughest questions is “why do you want to work for this firm as opposed to our competitors”? Well clearly I’m an unemployed student desperate for someone to fund my LPC!

But joking aside, I think it’s tough because, although it is important to research firms to find the ones most suitable, when you have narrowed it down to maybe four or five you particularly like, it is very difficult to then genuinely explain why one firm is any better/more appealing/more suitable than a similar rival without having worked there.

I think that’s why vac schemes are so beneficial. After my vac scheme at Wragge & Co I knew exactly why I wanted to work there because the people were totally down to earth and approachable and the firm just had a great atmosphere and a friendly feel.

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

My current team deals with a huge variety of work ranging from investment acquisition and disposals to large regional development work. As a trainee you get the opportunity to support the partners on some of the bigger deals as well as acting as the main fee earner on asset management work such as leases, licences to alter etc.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

Definitely the people. So far, I’ve been fortunate enough to work in two fantastic teams with some really interesting, sociable, bright people.

In my current seat, I’ve also really enjoyed the level of client contact and being able to develop my own relationships with clients on some of the smaller matters which I deal with day to day.

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

As a trainee, I didn’t expect to have as much client contact. In my current seat I’ve really been encouraged to form my own client relations by picking up the phone whenever necessary and attending meetings regularly. I really enjoy this aspect of the job.

Also time recording was a completely new concept. Having to account for your day in six minute units is a bit of shock to the system at first.

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

From my house mate Beth, who is also a trainee at the firm, asking what our dinner plans are!

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

The firm’s Birmingham canteen, The Loft, is probably the best bet. Or else any work night out will inevitably lead to some gossip!

Describe your training partner in three words.

Approachable, diligent and hardworking

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

  • My eyes change colour.
  • I completed the three peaks challenge in July this year
  • I have a pet snake called Herbert.

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

The person that decides what music features in films and programmes… is there a name for that job?

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

Expect some rejection along the way; interviews will not always go your way but keep trying and realise that eventually you’ll end up where you’re meant to be.