Francesca Hughes

Trainee

  • Degree: Politics; University of Exeter
  • Joined: Feb 2018
  • Practice Area: Corporate Litigation
  • Office: London
  • Favourite destination: New Zealand

Francesca Hughes's journey

As a trainee you are adapting to new types of work all the time, growing both your legal and non-legal skills. Since joining Hogan Lovells my ability to communicate with my colleagues and with clients and manage work and expectations has really developed.

Professionally, I have enjoyed taking on tasks and responsibilities outside of my comfort zone. The culture here means that you always feel supported in both the work that you do and in terms of your personal development, which makes working on something totally new less daunting.

There’s definitely no typical day for a trainee, as it can be really varied and very much depends on the team you work in. Some days are quite independent and desk based, like getting stuck into research or drafting documents, whilst other days involve lots of discussions, phone calls, and meetings. 

I was surprised by how much the work we do can be relevant to the outside world. For example I spent most of the first 6 months at Hogan Lovells doing work relating to two new pieces of legislation (PSD2 and GDPR) which were frequently discussed in the news and have prevalence outside of legal circles- it was exciting to be doing relevant work that I could see the impact of in daily life.  

It’s not only the work that keeps you engaged. Hogan Lovells has a social culture, there’s always a group of people to grab lunch with or different activities to get involved with, such as citizenship, fundraising, sports, talks and pro bono.  

The pro bono work that we do as a firm, is an engaging way for trainees to develop new skills. For example, I represented a pro bono client in appealing a decision by the Department for Work and Pensions to remove her welfare allowances. It gave me good exposure and practice of drafting witness statements, preparing evidence, interviewing a client and advocating on their behalf. For me, it was a rewarding experience to help someone obtain the successful outcome they wanted.