Name: Louisa Butcher
Firm: Mills & Reeve
Position: Trainee solicitor
Degree: Law with American Law
University: University of East Anglia
Hobbies: yoga, water sports, socialising, cycling
Current department: Employment
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 3/3
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
I wanted to train as a solicitor as I wanted to apply and develop what I had learnt at degree level to everyday legal issues in practice.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
One of the biggest challenges was making fewer, high quality applications, which were tailored to the specific firm, rather than making large numbers of lower-quality applications.
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
The hardest question was “tell me about yourself”! I had not prepared for such a broad question, so (after a well-timed pause) I gave a punchy synopsis of my CV as an answer.
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…
At the moment I am working in employment. The type of work experienced in this seat involves working closely with employer clients and our corporate department. As a trainee in this seat I also work closely with the pensions partner. The variety of clients across the firm in general is huge, and it is just as enjoyable working with smaller employers, as well as very large employers. The work is contentious and non-contentious which means there is a significant range of work for me, and I have experienced tribunal hearings as well as drafting contracts. The law in this area also changes at a very fast pace so it is important to keep up to date with the latest developments.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
I really enjoy the amount of client contact that I get as a trainee, along with the variety of work I am given, so I get well-rounded training. I particularly enjoy researching new and developing areas of law, or law which is being reformed, and assessing the impact this will have for our clients.
What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?
The level of client contact and the level of responsibility trainees get, and being able to apply my own research to complex legal problems.
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
An email from the pensions partner asking me to research a rather niche point relating to the new pensions legislation coming into force this summer.
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
Edo’s (the office eatery)
Describe your training partner in three words.
Accessible, practical and good-humoured.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
I am a coffee convert since joining Mills & Reeve; I drew Uruguay in the office World Cup sweepstake; I really do not like Marmite.
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
Surf instructor or farmer.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
Be determined! Get as much experience as possible, in legal areas and also in industry.