Name: Sam Cave-Browne-Cave
Firm: Bond Dickinson
Position: Trainee solicitor – first year
Degree: BA (Hons) History
University: University of Leeds
Hobbies: Swimming, Diving, Travel, Socialising, Arsenal
Current department: Commercial, London
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 10+/6
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
My plan was always to go into the law from when I first started secondary school.
My first pieces of work experience were for barristers and judges. Despite these people being some of the most staggeringly gifted I have met, I enjoyed my later work experience with solicitors a lot more.
Chiefly, my experiences in the oil and gas department at pre-merger Bond Pearce cemented my ambition to eventually become a solicitor.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
The market for trainees at the moment is obviously fiercely competitive and it is difficult to stay motivated in that kind of climate, especially when you get inevitable rejections (unless you are very lucky).
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
My first interview was probably my toughest and included, “What new skill did you learn yesterday?”
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…
At the moment we are looking at a stadium naming rights deal with a large football club as well as retail franchise agreements for high street retailers in Australia and around the world.
We have also recently put together an endorsement agreement with One Direction.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
I feel very lucky to be in a firm where I learn something new every day from staff at all levels. The friendly atmosphere in the office is conducive with this as nobody makes you feel stupid and everybody is more than willing to help if they can, without compromising the high level of work that the firm produces on a daily basis.
I genuinely feel that I have greatly improved both as a person and as a trainee since I began my training contract at Bond Dickinson last September.
What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?
I hoped, but did not expect, that each day would genuinely be completely different from the last. This has certainly been the case and, commuting in, it is impossible to predict what might happen.
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
It is an email from our head of CSR. The firm is getting some of us involved with a project to help underprivileged children to learn to read at a local school.
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
The legal assistant in my office knows just about everything of interest. It is key to get on the right side of him.
Describe your training partner in three words.
Understated, supportive, incisive.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
- I used to plant trees for a living.
- At university, I worked as a lookalike for Simon Cowell.
- I am a professional cocktail bartender.
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
Running my own business would be fun but, for me, the long term risks are too great.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
Don’t try to be something you are not. Lawyers come from all walks of life and all have different characteristics and flaws so there is no set mould to fit into. If anything, try to find the mould of an individual firm that you naturally fit (through open days etc.) and you will find the whole recruitment process a great deal easier.
Also, don’t see getting a training contract as a competition. The minute you realise that you don’t have to play a game is the day when firms will start to find a connection with you as a person, feel that they want to get to know you better and take you on.