The work you'll do
Get to grips with what you’ll do
We all think we know what a law career is. But from the outside, it’s hard to picture exactly what work will fill your day. Whether you’re coming to us as a trainee, a vacation schemer, or an open dayer, here’s what you’ll work on, from the everyday aspects to the more amazing ones.
What does a trainee commercial lawyer do?
Beyond what we’ve all seen on TV or learned at university, what’s involved in a trainee commercial lawyer’s day? Here are just some of the tasks our trainees perform on a daily basis:
What we’re working on
We spoke to our trainees about the work they’re doing right now:
I’m working on a dispute between individuals in the Middle East.We’re going through archived files to see what’s privileged or commercially sensitive and shouldn’t be disclosed.”
LAURENCE JUDGES - FOURTH-SEAT TRAINEE
Our practice areas
The kind of work you do will vary, depending on what practice area you’re working within in each seat. Find out about the ones we specialise in:
ANTITRUST AND COMPETITION
Combining merger control and non-transactional practices, we’re highly regarded for our expertise in anti-trust and competition.
Our extensive experience here sees us navigate everything from registration to commercialisation and enforcement – all with insight and agility.
BANKING AND FINANCE
Whether it’s banks or sovereign entities, the world’s biggest financial institutions turn to us for a comprehensive range of services.
Innovative development. Regeneration. Property finance transactions. Our real estate work is complex and varied, covering all kinds of projects and disputes.
CORPORATE, M&A AND SECURITIES
Here, you’ll find our teams’ knowledge and capability at play in complex domestic, cross-border and multi-jurisdictional transactions.
REGULATION AND INVESTIGATIONS
Regulation and enforcement by regulators are foremost matters for any business. Our combined expertise helps clients respond positively, all over the world.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION AND LITIGATION
Advising world-leading businesses, we’re capable hands in disputes, multi-jurisdictional mandates and international arbitration, in all sectors.
Crossing all industries, our global risk advisory group brings impressive experience to bear, embedding risk management and mitigation in our clients’ working practices.
EMPLOYMENT AND LABOUR
We cover all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment and labour law, from the most sensitive severance issues to global share plans.
In our tax planning, investigation and litigation services, clients of all sizes rely on our flexibility, our comprehensive knowledge, and our international reach.
Explore your first deal
We talk a lot about deals in law – but what’s involved from start to finish? Let Jess and her supervisor Alan tell you about the deal to deconsolidate Barclays Africa.
Hear it first-hand: our trainees’ stories
Tayo, on her second seat in asset finance, discusses her non-law background, her work in cyber security advice, and the support she’s found so far.
Second seat trainee Joshua, currently based in dispute resolution, tells us how he got a Helsinki law competition to a training contract at the firm.
Now a fourth-seat trainee, Ania talks backpacking in Asia, project financing in Jamaica, and why she joined the firm’s charity committee.
In his second seat in trade finance and Islamic finance, Ilian talked to us about choosing law, finding the right route, and joining the firm’s remarkably relaxed softball team.
Pro bono work
You won’t just work with our paying clients. You’ll also do your first pro-bono work at law centres in Tower Hamlets and Croydon, where you’ll provide face-to-face advice and legal aid to those most in need.
It’s quite scary the first time. At the firm, you’re very much learning, but at Croydon you’re in a situation where you’re the one being shadowed – by law school students – and everyone is looking to you as an expert. More than that, the types of issues you see aren’t things you’d get in your work at the firm. It takes real skill and sensitivity to help people in distress – and potentially to give them bad news. It’s definitely a learning experience and you never know what you’re going to handle.”
It can be a really humbling experience. There are people there with issues that you’ve never experienced before and you know they’re only there because there’s nowhere else they can go. You learn a lot about yourself when helping and responding to people who, for instance, are about to be evicted from their home.”
At the Law Centre, you often find yourself in situations where there’s no real legal answer. Sometimes people just want to know that they’re doing the right thing or they’ll ask you to point them in the right direction. So even when there’s nothing you can do, at least you can give pointers as to the next steps, which does actually make you a better lawyer back at the firm. After all, sometimes you’ll find the same with clients; that there’s nothing we can do, but there are practical tips they can take. It definitely helps you learn how to tackle a situation like that.”
I’m actually going to Croydon tonight. It’s a useful experience because you take ownership of whatever case might come your way that night. It might be housing or some kind of contractual dispute, but it’ll be up to you to follow up on it, so even quite early on, you’re getting a lot of responsibility.”