Have the confidence to know that I am good enough to pursue a career in Commercial law. It has provided me with the future that I’d dreamt of.
We hear from Chloe Taylor, who took part in a work experience PRIME programme last year, run by Clifford Chance.
Where and when did you do your experience?
I did my work experience with Clifford Chance LLP in Canary Wharf, London in 2019.
What difference did your PRIME work experience placement make to you?
Before the Prime scheme, I had no idea of the kind of scale or size Clifford Chance operated at or what even commercial law was? I had never stepped foot in such a large corporate company, let alone travel to London by myself. During the scheme, I gained a great insight into what law looks like in a city Commercial law firm, the different avenues available for law graduates and an understanding of Clifford Chance’s practice areas including Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Mergers & Acquisitions.
I learnt that it is essential to network, to ask as many questions as you can and that if you need help reach out, people are willing to help as they want you to succeed in the career that is right for you.
At the start of the scheme, I would have been too afraid to ask a question but by the end, I had arm ache, I was inspired and confident a total, different person. I believe that this was because Clifford Chance provided a supportive and friendly environment that enabled me to put my best self forward and push myself outside my comfort zone and take advantage of every opportunity.
PRIME was crucial to my journey. It was the start, and it allowed me to have the confidence to grow and make the most of the opportunities that I was given.
What tips would you give a student thinking of applying for work experience in a law firm?
The most important thing when applying to a scheme is showing your passion. You want them to pick up your application and know who you are. Show your particular interest in that firm. It’s all about effort, go to as many events as possible! Then when you come to writing your application, or even at the interview when you are trying to explain why you want to work with that firm, in particular, you can draw on your first-hand experiences. It’s invaluable!
What tips would you give a student preparing for their work experience?
- Research the firm in-depth
- Get to know the other candidates if you can
- Keep in touch with the firm
- Ensure you are organised with dates etc.
- Dedicate a notebook for the scheme so you can have all your notes in one place ready to reflect after the scheme
- Reach out to trainees at the firm – get to know the people and more about the firm’s practice areas
How can a student get the most from their work experience?
Be inquisitive, proactive and enjoy yourself. Show your personality, your passion and make an effort to get to know people. If something interests you, and you want to know more, then ask! Ask to have a coffee with the presenter but go with prepared questions.
What was the best part of your work experience and why?
I really enjoyed the business pitch as we got to play the role of Clifford Chance partners and actually try and pitch a piece of work to a ‘potential client’- who was four associates at the firm. I also really enjoyed collaborating in teams and getting to know other people from the cohort.
What surprised you most about your work experience?
How much of an impact it has had on me and my future- at the time I had no idea, what I was capable of. How willing people are to help you and how invested and interested are about your career and your aspirations. People genuinely want to help you.
What words of motivation do you have for a school student thinking about the law as a career?
Law is competitive but there is space for everyone to succeed, you just have to show you want it enough. Put yourself out there!