Name: Michelle Mitchell
Firm: Reed Smith
Position: Trainee solicitor
Degree: BA (Hons) Law
University: King’s College London
Hobbies: Tennis, netball, socialising
Current department: Financial services advisory group
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 10/4
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
As part of an introductory law course in high school I was involved in a mock criminal trial. As lead prosecutor I had to analyse the facts, interview witnesses and think quickly on my feet. It was a great experience which inspired me to consider law as a career. Although I have decided to train as a solicitor rather than a barrister, many of the same skills apply.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
The biggest challenge was balancing my university studies with preparing applications for vacation schemes. A lot of time is needed to research firms in enough detail to provide informed and firm-specific answers.
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
When have I used my networks before and what did I achieve out of it? I was caught off guard and had to think for a moment. I answered truthfully and said that I had contacted my high school alumni network when I moved to the UK to meet other people.
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment
Typical work includes advising on issues relating to authorisation, structuring, energy trading, the regulation of derivatives, conduct of business, promotion and distribution of investments and money laundering. The advisory group also provides specialist regulatory advice on transactions within the financial services sector.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
The amount of responsibility I have been given. I have been responsible for the day to day management of regulatory reviews which involves regularly speaking to foreign counsel directly. The work is varied and very interesting and my co-workers are great.
What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?
How approachable and friendly everyone is. The firm regularly puts on a number of sports and social events which are a great opportunity to meet other people within the firm.
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
An email from the head of our sports & social committee reminding everyone about the 5-a-side football tournament happening this evening.
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
Describe your training partner in three words
Supportive. Professional. Inspiring
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)
- I have been stung by a Portuguese man-of-war (a species of jellyfish)
- I have a twin sister
- I am from Bermuda.
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
If I had not decided to become a lawyer I would have become a chef.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
Try to secure as many vacation schemes as possible. They are a great way of getting an invaluable insight into the culture of the firm.