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Mishcon de Reya training principal Daniel Levy advises candidates to avoid generic responses, particularly those more suited to the Apprentice.
Firm: Mishcon de Reya.
Department: Property Litigation.
Degree subject: Politics.
Hobbies:Running with my dog; cycling; spending time with my young family.
How long have you been a partner?Seven years.
Who/what inspired you to be a lawyer? I like solving problems, I like helping people and I like winning cases.
What things did you wish you knew before embarking on a legal career?That it can give you an unhealthy aversion to risk.
What does your typical day involve?I start around 8, before the phone starts ringing and then spend most of my day talking with clients andcolleagues and working on my cases. I finish around 7:30. Mercifully I have very little bureaucracy to deal with – we are not that sort of firm.
What are the most challenging aspects of your job?Keeping my clients happy.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?Building a strong and successful team.
What are the best aspects of your job?Winning cases, of course!
What are the worst aspects of your job?Losing them; it does happen sometimes.
What tips would you give to students who want to break into the legal profession?Try and get some relevant work experience as soon aspossible and don’t give up trying.
What are the most common mistakes you’ve seen candidates making?Generic responses in applications and at interview which are moresuited to the Apprentice than an application to a law firm. Think about the firm you are applying to.
How has the legal market changed since the days you were a trainee?There was no computer on my desk and as a trainee I had to apply tothe Senior Partner to have an email address! Email, and clients’ desire for promptness, has certainly made things more fast paced. And there ismuch more competition for legal services. Clients are much more sophisticated in what they expect from their lawyers.
What impact has the recession had on your firm?Clients are much more driven by value; our litigation work has increased.
What three words best describe your firm?Tenacious; driven; decent.
Where did you go for your last holiday?Italy.
What gadget/gizmo would you be lost without?iPhone – I am totally addicted.