Firm Insider 2

Firm Insider 2

Written by Ayomide Akande

Edited by ELN

The Starting Point: Early Exposure Through Rare Programs

My journey into commercial law kicked off during my first year of university when I became part of the Rare Law Foundations Programme as a Rare Candidate. This invaluable experience introduced me to multiple law firms, serving as the catalyst for my decision to dive into this field. Capitalizing on this momentum, I applied and was accepted to the White & Case First Year Scheme. As a follow-up, I enrolled in the Rare Articles program during the subsequent summer, providing me the opportunity to visit some of the top UK and US law firms. This program also offered me targeted support for my vacation scheme applications, including application reviews and mock interviews.

Firm Culture: A Tale of Three Law Firms

Latham & Watkins: Laid-back Excellence

At Latham, the culture exuded a unique blend of professional excellence with a laid-back demeanour—potentially a nod to the firm's Californian roots. Additionally, the firm fostered an international atmosphere, characterized by diversity in both work and staff backgrounds.

Freshfields: High-Quality and Sociable

Freshfields also boasted a diverse and friendly environment, amalgamating high-quality work with sociable colleagues.

Linklaters: Down-to-Earth Engagement

At Linklaters, I experienced a down-to-earth, friendly culture, marked by lawyers who willingly engaged with vacation scheme students.

It's challenging to precisely describe a firm's culture, as it tends to resonate differently with everyone.

My primary advice to aspiring lawyers is to engage with a wide range of people across departments at these firms. This interaction can offer an in-depth understanding of what each firm specializes in and what their culture entails. Open days and insight events are invaluable opportunities for first-hand experience with the firm's environment, giving you a more comprehensive understanding of whether a particular firm aligns with your aspirations.

Choosing Latham: A Personal Perspective

Latham distinguished itself from the typical 'US' firm by offering a full range of services and maintaining a slightly larger cohort. My vacation scheme experience at Latham was overwhelmingly positive, and it aligned well with my professional interests. The training, culture, and people were exceptional, making it a straightforward choice for me.

Perseverance and Positivity: My Personal Mantra

The journey to a successful career in law is not devoid of setbacks, but maintaining a positive mindset is crucial. I viewed rejections and initial disappointments as steppingstones rather than obstacles. This flexible approach is critical for overcoming challenges and realizing that what's meant for you will eventually find its way to you.