How my career in law all started. Some things are just meant to be…
The application process rollercoaster
At the risk of giving away my age, I applied for my training contract nearly two decades ago. In the UK, the training contract is the most popular route into a career in law. But I did not have the benefit of any insider know-how on the legal sector. There were a plethora of law firms to sift through.
I narrowed it down to law firms with international offices in places that I would like to explore. Having grown up in the Middle East and studied Arabic I was drawn to the region. So, I applied to 12 firms. I was lucky enough to receive six invitations to interview.
To put this into context, before applying for a place at law school or a training contract; I applied to over 40 graduate jobs. They were in various professions from banking, management consultancy, the oil industry to journalism. I didn’t receive a single offer to interview. A particular low was receiving a rejection within 12 hours of submitting my online application. That was an application to Arthur Andersen (remember them? https://qrius.com/arthur-anderson-fall-americas-oldest-accounting-behemoth/), as it later turned out, it was shortly before their ultimate demise. I think I dodged a bullet with that application. Well, that it is how I console myself.
I learnt a lot from those initial failures. I became more determined and focussed. The repeated rejection letters were demoralising but ultimately gave me the strength to accept the failure. They compelled me to reassess where I should apply my efforts. I took stock of my strengths and weakness. I assessed where my skill set might be best applied. The more I considered my options, the more I found myself gravitating towards a career in law. More importantly, the failures made me appreciate my eventual success even more.
The invitation to interview and preparation
In terms of law firms, there was only one at the top of my wish list. When the letter arrived in the pigeonhole at my university halls of residence; I was buzzing. I had been invited to an interview at the London offices. The…