Ria Patel - Trainee

Trainee, second seat

What first stood out for you about Norton Rose Fulbright?

It was actually when I was part of my university’s Law Society careers team: I was liaising with different law firms to organise networking events and I saw that Norton Rose Fulbright was one of the few firms whose events weren’t just the usual drinks receptions. They gave you a proper taste of the firm’s culture through negotiation workshops and debating competitions. Our students really appreciated them for that.

You started life at Norton Rose Fulbright on one of our vacation schemes. Can you tell us what you gained from the experience?

Looking back on it, the vacation scheme I took part in was the main reason I accepted a training contract here. I’d recently taken part in a scheme at another law firm, but my experience with Norton Rose Fulbright was by far my favourite – it definitely surpassed anything else I’d done.

I was placed into a general banking team for two weeks, exposing me to live deals straight away. My supervising associate was so attentive, too: he supported me, giving me the confidence to learn and gave me a surprising level of responsibility. The more I experienced the culture, the more I knew this was where I wanted to be. I’d recommend the vacation scheme to anyone considering applying here.

You mentioned the firm’s culture. What’s been your experience in that respect?

To me, the culture here is unique: it’s vibrant and sociable, with a truly enjoyable working environment. I’ve had ample opportunity to socialise and network with lawyers around the firm, getting involved in everything from cross-country bike rides to inter-departmental sports tournaments. You get plenty of space to develop your professional career, but you can also take on rewarding challenges and reap the benefits of working hard as a team.

From your experience, what advice would you give to graduates applying here?

Ensure that your application form clearly underlines your commercial and international interests, but don’t undervalue your extracurricular interests and hobbies. Norton Rose Fulbright graduates don’t fit a particular mould, so talk about what makes you who you are. Whether it’s sport, travelling or the arts, it’s vital that you demonstrate that you’re a well-rounded, engaged individual who can contribute to both the intellectual work and the enriching culture of the firm.


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