Howard Kennedy graduate recruitment partner Andrew Collins advises aspiring lawyers to get a good knowledge of the business world before taking up a training contract.
Firm: Howard Kennedy LLP
University: North London
Degree subject: Law
Hobbies: Watching Chelsea, playing drums and travel to the USA
How long have you been a partner? 14 years
Who/what inspired you to be a lawyer? My late father who, in addition to his limitless patience, made me accept that the Stones weren’t going to come knocking!
What things did you wish you knew before embarking on a legal career? That legal knowledge is only part of the gig and that it is never too early to start developing business skills and building a following
What does your typical day involve? All the usual suspects…a mix of transactional work, supervision/mentoring, business development and administration
What are the most challenging aspects of your job? Unrealistic deadlines
What has been the highlight of your career so far? Joining a firm that saw some potential in me and provided a platform to help me realize it.
What are the best aspects of your job? Helping clients achieve their objectives and helping trainees and junior colleagues realize their potential.
What are the worst aspects of your job? File closures
What tips would you give to students who want to break into the legal profession? Law firms are businesses so students should, to my mind, seek to compliment their legal knowledge with a bit of commercial awareness and, if possible, gain some experience of the business world before taking up a training contract
What are the most common mistakes you’ve seen candidates making? Long winded covering letters, unexplained gaps in CVs, and the assumption that there will be no test of legal knowledge at interview
How has the legal market changed since the days you were a trainee? Beyond recognition !
What impact has the recession had on your firm? Like many firms, there is no doubt that the recession has forced us to make some tough decisions which, in an ideal world, we would not have made but it has, on a positive note, caused us to re-visit and improve our strategy and our delivery of legal services to our clients
What three words best describe your firm? Proactive, commercial, friendly
Where did you go for your last holiday? Las Vegas
What gadget/gizmo would you be lost without? My Nespresso machine