Name: Molly Beck
Degree Subject: Law
University: Oxford University
Hobbies: Music, art galleries, museums, travel
Current Department: Debt Finance
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
It was a natural progression from studying law at university and it presented the opportunity to combine the technical and analytical skills learnt through my studies with interpersonal skills developed through previous jobs and general life. I was excited by the prospect of working with driven, ambitious people and being in an environment where you could work on market-changing transactions.
Why did you choose your firm?
I attended various events throughout university to get an understanding of the culture at different firms. I was drawn to the meritocracy at Kirkland and the small trainee intake, which allows greater exposure to senior lawyers, more opportunity to take on responsibility at earlier stages and creates a collegiate atmosphere, fostering better working relationships. I was impressed by the involvement of senior partners in the recruitment process and the level of care taken in choosing people that would be a good fit for the firm.
What has been the most exciting piece of work you have done, and why?
Throughout my corporate seat, I worked late into the evening on a couple of closings trying to agree and finalise documents. With the time pressure, the various teams relied on me to take full ownership of my workstreams and my contribution was crucial to getting the deal through. The adrenaline in the rush up to closing and the feeling when you successfully close is great!
What does your typical day involve?
It can vary hugely depending on which practice group I am in and the matters I am staffed on. I start every day by checking my emails and responding to time critical items, before moving onto my tasks for that day. These can include drafting ancillary transaction documents, coordinating local counsel, updating the team on various workstreams, listening into client calls and attending client meetings.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
The lawyers I work with make a huge effort to involve me in all aspects of the transaction, to teach me new things and to let me take ownership of what I am doing. When you are busy, you develop a great team spirit amongst the people you work with and knowing that you have been a real help to them is rewarding. I also enjoy the constant skills development and the variety of work in each team.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
Take advantage of every opportunity you have to meet people and gain experience in the field. The best way to know what type of law interests you and the right firm for you is by meeting people, asking questions and experiencing it for yourself. Law fairs, open days and university events are a great way to do this. I’ve met some incredible people through these events that went above and beyond to offer advice and help through the application process.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
The application process is time-consuming and can be challenging. It can be difficult to pick yourself back up if you aren’t successful after you have put a lot of time into an application. Differentiating between law firms can also be very challenging, especially when you have a limited understanding of the types of law under the umbrella of ‘commercial law’ and how much culture differs from firm to firm. This is where meeting people is especially invaluable as the firms will expect you to understand exactly what their speciality is and what sets them apart.
How is law in practice different from studying law?
Law in practice involves taking the skills you learn through study and applying them in a commercial context, often under time pressure and with a lot more at stake. You have to tailor what you know to a specific client or transaction, as well as managing expectations and multiple demands. Communication and the versatility to adapt to changing parameters every single day are crucial in a way that is entirely different from studying.
Firm address: 30 St Mary Axe London EC3A 8AF
Telephone number: 020 7469 2000
Email address for graduate recruitment: email@example.com
Number of offices: 15
Training contract application deadline: 5 January 2020
Vacation scheme application deadline: 12 July 2020