The student starter pack

Law degree: University of Surrey

LPC: College of Law, London

Things I wish I’d known: I was actually quite wealthy at the time

Best advice given: To study law with a language

Worst advice given: Not to spend my summer working for Eversheds in Moscow – thankfully I never took it

Best thing about the firm: Most people are friendly, approachable and sociable

One thing I’d change about my firm: Have an in-house laundry service

Best moment: Feeling part of a team

Worst moment: First day at work, attending my first meeting and pouring out tea and coffee for clients which I later realised was freezing cold

This year’s holiday: Gdansk, Poland

Greatest extravagance: Buying my tiny flat in West Kensington

Nazir Dewji, Berwin Leighton, corporate, construction, tax, construction litigation

Law degree: Queen Mary & Westfield College/LLM King’s College

LPC: College of Law, London

Things I wish I’d known: Just how much free time you lose when you start work

Best advice given: Be yourself. Not only will it get you where you want to be, but it will also ensure that where you end up is the best place for you

Worst advice given: Be yourself!

Best thing about the firm: The friendly and relaxed atmosphere in all departments

One thing I’d change about my firm: Most have already taken place: new canteen, dress-down Fridays, weekly drinks. Now I’m just waiting for Mondays off…

Best moment: Informing a client’s son-in-law to pack an overnight bag for his father-in-law in case he did not get a suspended sentence

Worst moment: The five minutes during the court’s judgment when I thought our client may well end up needing that bag. Fortunately, he didn’t

This year’s holiday: Los Angeles and Las Vegas, or the Far East and Dubai

Greatest extravagance: Flying out at the last minute to watch the European Cup Final in Barcelona (thanks to the partner who let me go at two hour’s notice).

Samantha Gower, Simmons & Simmons, corporate tax

Non-law degree: Leeds University

CPE/LPC: College of Law, London

Things I wish I’d known: That I was wholly right when I thought my training would be fun

Best advice given: Don’t do a law degree, take the CPE

Worst advice given: Don’t have a gap year

Best thing about the firm: The quality of supervision

One thing I’d change about my firm: When people moan for no reason at all

Best moment: Working hard on a project and joining the client at their rather extravagant Christmas lunch

Worst moment: The installation of our new IT system last year and the subsequent start-up gremlins – many late nights

This year’s holiday: South-west France

Greatest extravagance: Getting married!

Helen Emmerson, Wragge & Co, insurance litigation

Law degree: Birmingham University

LPC: Nottingham Law School

Things I wish I’d known: That however hard you may be trying to persuade a law firm to give you a training contract, they are trying just as hard to attract you

Best advice given: Dress the part, be relaxed and always look confident

Worst advice given: That your second year exam results don’t matter too much, as you can always do well in the third year

Best thing about the firm: It values its trainees extremely highly and devotes a lot of resources to their training and development

One thing I’d change about my firm: The terrible coffee from the vending machines

Best moment: Completion of a purchase I had been responsible for while in my property seat

Worst moment: None so far – although I have not had to stay all night on a corporate deal yet

This year’s holiday: Munich

Greatest extravagance: None