Name: Moe Yassin
Firm: Clyde & Co LLP
Position: Trainee solicitor
Degree: Law (LLB.Hons) Upper Second-Class Honours
University: The University of Liverpool
Hobbies: Music production, gigging, gym, and serial movie addict
Current department: Professional Financial Disputes
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: Too many to count (30+) and somewhere in the region of 10 interviews.
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
I believe that solicitors, contrary to what some may think, play an actively important role in society. There is a duality to the legal system. On the one hand, we pride ourselves on having access to justice, yet on the other hand, the legal system has been made so incredibly complicated that most citizens have little or no understanding of the scope of their rights. Being a solicitor means being first and foremost an advocate for you client, helping them navigate the system. That was a responsibility I wanted to take on.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
Getting the training contract! I was unfortunate enough to graduate at the peak of a double dip recession, meaning that during the years of 2010 – 2012, I received more rejections than Tinder!
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
If you had to choose between extreme heat and extreme cold, what would you choose and why? I wouldn’t survive a week in either case. Eventually, I answered cold on the basis that I have a skin tone which burns in a tranquil 20 degree heat. At least in the cold I wouldn’t look like a lobster.
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…
My current department deals with claims involving professional negligence. This can be any professional e.g. Architects, Solicitors, Conveyancers etc. The claims are usually high value and often quite complex, involving numerous documents for inspection. Since each case can involve a different profession and, in each case we must answer the question of causation, the team has to have a diverse understanding of the mechanisms employed by each occupation. That is to say, they need to understand the insured’s trade and the custom within which they operate. This can be considerably challenging and requires consistent learning and development.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
The most enjoyable aspect of my job is when a case or the law behind that case finally clicks into place. There is a feeling of accomplishment when you finally grasp a complicated area of law and unearth a way to overcome a significant hurdle that the opposing side may not have realised or expected. In turn, there is a sense of pride knowing that the advice you give your client is to the absolute best of your abilities.
What about your job did you not expect before you started?
One thing I didn’t expect (or prepare for) was working with such a variety of people, each with their own unique style of case handling. Moreover, since each piece of work you do is subjectively assessed by the fee earner that allocated it, I found myself having to tailor each task to that person. This can be quite difficult at first, until you become familiar with the handler’s style over time.
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
An email to confirm there are cakes in the kitchen. It is taking all my willpower to finish this interview first.
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
Describe your training partner in three words.
Determined, attentive and approachable
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
- I have a phobia of uncooked cheese
- I have never injured myself on a night out
- I don’t watch Game of Thrones because it is too slow
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
I would probably have studied sound engineering and worked for years until I could land a job as a professional mastering engineer.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
Make sure this is genuinely the career you want to pursue as you will be in it for the long haul. Most people think becoming a lawyer is a three or four-year commitment. Accounting for the law degree, LPC and training contract and assuming everything goes spot on from start to finish, the process will take at least six years (seven if you had to do the GDL).
Be resilient and be tenacious. Trying to get a training contract can be a cruel process but do not take it to heart – at the end of the day, it is just business. If this is truly your dream job, just remember that it will all be worth it in the end.