I always knew I wanted to work in London after finishing university. The bright lights and big smoke are a draw for many, and London seems to have more than its fair share of graduates embarking upon their chosen careers.
This is particularly prevalent in the city, where our office is located. Many London law firms are based nearby, which is handy if you are required to rush out and have some documents signed or attend a completion. It also means that you can meet for lunch with fellow trainees from other firms to compare notes on your training contract experiences.
The Square Mile is the epicentre of legal and economic development in the UK, and it is exciting to work at the very heart of it. Our office is situated right next to St Paul’s Cathedral. In fact, from my desk I have a stunning view of its pillars that I never tire from looking at, I will be sad to give it up when it is time to change seats. The office also has a beautiful roof terrace which looks directly on to the dome of the Cathedral, a great place to host client events and is always a talking point. I am looking forward to some summer events on the terrace this year, such as last year’s al fresco screening of the Wimbledon semi-final.
Whilst I always knew that I wanted to work in London, I was less keen on the idea of working in a huge firm like some of my friends, I was more attracted to a firm with a smaller trainee intake. The London office suits me perfectly as it is relatively small compared to the firm’s other offices, yet has the backing of the firm’s strong national brand and the high quality work which goes with it.
Something that is really exciting about the London office is that it is growing. It’s inspiring to be somewhere that is expanding and, naturally, as a trainee you want to work in a place where you can see yourself qualifying and building a career. I certainly feel that here.
A perk of being a London trainee in a national firm with a regional focus is that lots of clients (even from other offices) come to London for business, so we have the opportunity to meet many of them. I have even been fortunate enough to be taken for sushi in Mayfair and to The Shard for cocktails with clients of the Manchester office.
Something that I definitely envy of the other trainees, however, is the shorter commute that they enjoy in other cities. As London is so vast and the cost of living is so high, many people live outside of town and travel in by train. Even those of us who live in London face an hour of travel before arriving at our desks.
The firm has undertaken a new initiative for this year’s trainees, where my cohort have had the chance to visit each of the firm’s offices. I felt very lucky to call this area my ‘home turf’ when the other trainees came to London, after taking them on a short tour of some of the local key landmarks.
Something that always strikes me with London is how busy everywhere is, on any day of the week. Nowhere is this more true than in the city, where there is a definite ‘work hard, play hard’ culture. There is a lot of socialising after work due to our proximity to some lovely bars and restaurants, including a karaoke bar, but the less said about that, the better!
This post was edited by Rachael Waugh. For more information, email email@example.com.