Amoe Mkwena

Trainee

  • Degree: LLB Law, University of Exeter
  • Joined: Aug 2017
  • Practice Area: Corporate M&A
  • Office: London
  • Favourite book: Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Amoe Mkwena's journey

My partner mentor, as an ethnic minority and a woman, has been inspirational just by being a visible role model within the firm. She has also given me practical advice on how to best navigate the workplace and how to take advantage of the many opportunities that the firm offers us. With her wisdom, I’ve taken practical steps to further my aspirations to help improve diversity in the City, especially with regard to ethnic minorities – and the firm has supported me in that.

Some of the best advice I have been given at the firm is that I should not be afraid to challenge ideas. We pride ourselves on being innovative and creative. The ultimate goal of our training is to have lawyers that think laterally and provide the firm with creative insights from their diverse backgrounds. 

The culture at Hogan Lovells is unique. It is non-hierarchal and you can be yourself. This is particularly important in the Corporate team where there are peaks and troughs in terms of the work flow and intensity. When the workload reaches a peak, the whole team pulls together and there's an "all hands on deck" mentality from all levels of the team, which is refreshing. It makes working here a pleasure.

Working across borders and with international colleagues has helped me to understand cultural nuances; you see how different people operate in different ways. It’s great that I have had the opportunity to observe and appreciate that at such an early stage in my career. It will make me a better lawyer in the long term because I can incorporate the best practice that I observe from a range of practitioners into my own style – giving me a well-rounded experience and skill-set.

All in all, I am much more confident in my abilities since I joined Hogan Lovells. I have learnt to make every task a learning experience and am focused on my professional development. I am learning, for instance, to become more commercially astute. It does not just entail understanding what is happening in the business world but is about being able to pre-empt what a client may need, then executing it in a way that best suits their interests, even if it is not the method that the client envisaged. It is a skill that takes a lot of work to develop and the lawyers that I have had the pleasure of observing doing this are truly impressive.