Name: Kristen DiLemmo

Firm: Jones Day

Position: Trainee solicitor

Degree: B.Phil (English Literature and Classics); M.St (English)

University: University of Pittsburgh; Oxford

Hobbies: Travelling; baking; softball

Current department: N/A (Jones Day scheme is non-rotational)

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 3/1

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

Law is a career change for me. I was looking for a broader and more challenging experience than I had in my previous work.

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

I was working full time and needed to balance my job with preparing applications. Not to mention scheduling holiday time for the Jones Day vacation scheme!

Kristen DiLemmo, Jones Day
Kristen DiLemmo, Jones Day

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

“Why didn’t you pursue law as your first career?” I explained that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I first graduated, but the experiences that followed brought my goals into focus and made it clear that a career in law was for me.

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

Jones Day trainees work for multiple departments at any time. At the moment, I am winding down an arbitration that I was working on since November, drafting leases and ancillaries for one of our real estate clients, and researching European trade mark legislation.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

The variety of work that I get involved with, and the people.

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

The level of responsibility that trainees are given. I am regularly on the phone to solicitors on the other side of transactions and to our clients.

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

It’s from a colleague in the corporate department confirming that he can come to the community service activity that another trainee and I have organised for this weekend.

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

The tea and coffee point, obviously!

Describe your training partner in three words.

We do not have seat supervisors at Jones Day, but our training principal, who is a real estate partner, is an approachable, great teacher.

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

  • I studied an unpublished Oscar Wilde text at university
  • I am travelling to Antarctica next month
  • I’ve worked as a film critic

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

Stuffy English professor.

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

It’s a career that suits all sorts of experiences and backgrounds – don’t think that you have to tick a particular set of boxes.