I read Theology at Keble College, Oxford and graduated in 2011 with little sense of what the practical
application of my degree might be. In the year that followed I worked as a legal admin assistant at a
small ABS. This experience allowed me to benefit from assisting solicitors in their day-to-day activities
and develop some of that mystical ‘commercial awareness’ by watching how decisions were made
which were sensitive to both the company’s vision and the economic climate of the time. This included
a sense that decisions could accommodate pragmatism and an ethos driven by other considerations,
which I found compelling.
As a result of this work I decided to undertake vac schemes at city firms. From my research, BWB
seemed to be unparalleled in many regards and my experience on the vac scheme at the firm
confirmed this to be the case. The firm’s profile in the charity sector alone would attest to this but the
breadth of the other work undertaken at the firm in such diverse practice areas such as Immigration,
Media and Entertainment and Administrative and Public Law also underlines the point forcefully.
It has also been my experience since joining the firm in September 2014 that a unique profile of work
also informs a culture that you might not expect to encounter as a trainee solicitor in the City. The
welcome here was warm and the working environment in the Immigration Department, where I have
sat for my first seat, is one which encourages you to ask questions and participate in discussion. The
level of expertise in the department is high and to begin with I felt self-conscious about my total lack of
experience but everyone has been very supportive and given me tasks which have helped to develop
my knowledge of a fascinating area of law, so often the focus of national debate and scrutiny.
The culture and ethos of the firm, as well as the nature of the work undertaken, resonate strongly with
my interests outside the office and ultimately that was a decisive factor when I chose to apply for a
training contract. I have experience working and volunteering for charitable organisations that I want
to bring to bear in my professional life but I am also keen to gain a sense of the breadth of possibilities
that commercial legal practice can hold. At BWB I feel confident that both aims can be realised.