Name: Alice Esuola

Firm: Bristows

Position: Trainee solicitor

Degree: Law

University: Cambridge

Hobbies: Reading, playing guitar and attending film festivals.

Current department: Commercial IP/IT

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 15/5

Alice Esuola, Bristows
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

I enjoyed studying law at university and undertaking various work placements affirmed that I would enjoy applying my legal skills in a commercial context. Training as a solicitor provides a perfect opportunity to combine the intellectual rigour of law with working in the city.

What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?

There are so many law firms out there operating in similar practice areas; I often found it difficult to articulate why I was applying to train at a specific firm and what distinguished that firm for me. I realised that in-depth research was key and it was important to use a variety of sources. A firm’s website and legal publications are great starting points but getting out there, attending law fairs and networking events also goes a long way.

What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?

I vaguely recall being asked a question which had something to do with financial institutions in the wake of the recession. The question really threw me and I just panicked. As for how I answered, there really is only one word to sum it up: terribly.

Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…

The work I’ve been involved in so far has been really varied, from undertaking legal research and assisting with finalising contracts to attending a meeting with a prospective client.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

I really enjoyed studying intellectual property at university so having the opportunity to work on IP matters alongside talented colleagues has been great.

What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?

I was a little intimidated about the prospect of sharing an office with a partner and associate (or in some cases just a partner) but it’s been really enjoyable. I’ve learnt a lot from working alongside colleagues who are incredibly talented whilst also being down to earth and approachable.

Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?

It’s from a fellow trainee about getting some lunch in the hub, our kitchen/lunch area.

Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?

That depends on what type of gossip you’re after…

Describe your training partner in three words.

Intelligent, articulate and hilarious.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).

  • I lived in Italy until I was five.
  • I have an extra bone in my body.
  • I have a whippet called Morpurgho.

If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?

I’d probably have been a film director or a psychotherapist.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?

It’s good to be clear on why you want to be a lawyer. It’s one of those questions that comes up time and time again on application forms, at networking events and in interviews. I think knowing why you have personally chosen to pursue law will help you answer the “why law?” question in an articulate way without having to resort to tired clichés.