Since joining the firm, my mastery of the law has been continuously evolving, and I feel that I’ve already made huge strides since my first day, in terms of technical application and general knowledge of the law. Each successive seat has had processes in place to ensure that trainees receive feedback during the seat, which you can put to the test during the next deal.
In each seat, colleagues have also been keen to give me as much responsibility as possible, from attending client meetings to reviewing more complicated documents. It’s given me a broader perspective of how various processes fit into the deal as a whole, and has helped me to develop and hone my overall skills.
Since joining the firm I have become stronger in thinking critically and with clarity. I've learned to question assumptions and to not take facts or statements at face value. I’ve also gained self-assurance, strength and agility in my approach as I have progressed through my training contract.
These attributes are gained from being consistently pushed outside my comfort zone, and from having great supervisors who have set the bar high, whilst always being willing to take the time to answer questions and to provide direction and relevant support.
On a more personal level, since joining Hogan Lovells, I’ve become much more confident and more resilient: everyone you encounter in the firm is committed to developing trainees into strong and capable lawyers.
The culture here is truly open. Everyone is so different – lawyers at the London office come from all over the world and embody a true diversity of cultures, opinions and personalities. What I love is that the firm accepts people's differences and views diversity as an asset. I feel like I can be myself here, and this open environment is ideal for developing as a lawyer.
I remember a partner at the firm saying that his philosophy to working as a lawyer is "always extend, never pretend". Meaning, always offer help and take on as many tasks as possible, while being humble about what you do – and don't – know. Those words have really stuck with me, and I try to follow this guidance when working with my colleagues.
I think the best piece of advice is to take ownership of your work and to make sure that you are always pushing yourself to improve from deal to deal, or from seat to seat. I look toward both the newly qualified associates and senior associates, and try to use the standards they are expected to meet as a guide. I believe in always looking at the next step ahead and setting goals for how I would like to progress.