Joe Babos, Ward Hadaway

Name: Joe Babos

Firm: Ward Hadaway

Position: Trainee solicitor

Degree: Law LLB & LPC

University: Newcastle

Hobbies: Football, travelling, going out with friends.

Current department: Corporate

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 5/3

Joe Babos, Ward Hadaway

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

Whilst trying my hand in two other career paths before law (food retail management and recruitment), I was able to learn a lot about what I actually wanted from a career. Being a solicitor really appealed to me due to the intellectual challenge and also the prospect of advising people on many different complex issues.

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

For me the biggest challenge was proving I was committed to a career in law while working and doing well in recruitment, but once the firm saw that I had applied for their training contract two years in a row and gave me the opportunity to demonstrate my commitment to them I was rewarded with a training contract.

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

I remember being asked at a different firm to talk about the last five books I had read, which in truth caught me completely off guard. I managed to talk about a couple I had read fairly recently, but also had to pretend I’d read a couple as well!

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

In corporate the bulk of the work I’m doing at the moment is on share sales, with also a bit on asset sales, reorganisations and private equity investments.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

One of the most enjoyable aspects of working at Ward Hadaway is going to work in our head office on the Quayside in Newcastle. Being on the fourth floor of the river-facing building, the corporate department in particular has fantastic views overlooking the River Tyne, the Tyne Bridge and the Millennium Bridge.

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

Compared to my last two positions I was really surprised at how welcoming and comfortable the working environment is here, which for me makes working life a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable.

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

The last email in my inbox is the firm’s weekly “Good News” column, which gives us the info on all the goings on at Ward Hadaway.

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

I like to keep away from office gossip so I wouldn’t know!

Describe your training partner in three words.

Intelligent, personable, committed.

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

I’m 6 foot 3, can speak French and am a quarter Hungarian.

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

I would have attempted (and probably failed) in following my brother into professional football.

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

The best piece of advice I can give is not to give up on a training contract if you want it enough. Opportunities do not come overnight but remain focused and persistent in your applications and you will get your reward in the end.