Name: Poppy Pite
Firm: Osborne Clarke
Position: Trainee solicitor
Degree: BSc. History and Philosophy of Science
Hobbies: Food and wine, swimming, travelling and dance
Current department: Restructuring and Insolvency
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 13/5 (roughly)
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
I had already begun another career before I realised how much variety and opportunity a legal career has. Your skills – legal and professional – are continually developed even after qualifying, which is a really appealing factor for me.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
Securing work experience that was relevant while getting to grips with the array of firm cultures. It’s always important to try and picture yourself working in any law firm that you’re applying to. It is really tricky to do so, without ever having worked there before! It therefore entails a lot of research, but it’s so worth it when you understand a firm’s ethos.
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
At more than one interview I was put into a group and asked to analyse a problem from a legal and commercial viewpoint. We then had to deliver feedback to the client on what we considered to be the most pressing issues. When asked to complete a group activity, get involved but DON’T take over. The firm is looking at how you interact with others and work in a team as well as judging your legal knowledge and commercial awareness. These tasks are timed and it’s therefore very important to be aware of what you can achieve and deliver in the allocated time (I ran out of time!)
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…
I have only been in my current seat for two weeks. At the moment we are working on a group restructuring that involves an administration and asset sale. Generally the work revolves around protecting and advancing the rights of creditors and involves corporate clients, banks and insolvency practitioners.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
I love the contentious work. I was lucky enough, during my last seat, to spend a lot of time in court. I became involved in some very interesting, and highly confidential, proceedings. I jumped at the chance to act in the capacity of advocate in the high court and county courts. Recently, I also found out an equipment lease agreement I drafted is being used as the client’s precedent agreement. In my experience as a trainee so far, that has been one of the biggest satisfactions.
What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?
You have the ability to shape your career path. The work you do, and the people you work with really determine your future during your training contract.
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
The trainee who was last in my current seat forwarded me some notes she had made from a conference so that I could update a know-how folder.
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
Describe your training partner in three words.
Open, supportive, and inspiring.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
- I love the CPR
- I’m addicted to wasabi (the condiment not the establishment)
- I was raised by wolves, seriously.
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
Zoo keeper – it’s not all roses, but I love animals!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
Get as much work experience as you can and really think hard about what kind of law you want to work for. Be prepared to make lots of applications, and tailor them to each firm. One more thing, which might seem trivial: spell the firm’s name right! You have no idea how many people apply to Osborne Clarke with ‘Osbourne Clark/Osborn Clark’ – not exactly the best first impression to make!