As a recent post-graduate with little professional work experience and uncertain exactly where I was headed career wise, I knew simply that I wanted to be challenged intellectually whilst moving away from the sometimes isolating experience of academic research. In considering my options, my mind kept coming back to a talk at university, which used Twitter as lens through which to explore the schism between rapidly advancing technology and the law, and I realised that I might be interested in a career engaging with some of the legal and practical issues faced by dynamic and innovative businesses.
Bristows – at the cutting edge in terms of its work in the life sciences and technology sectors – offered an excellent opportunity to explore this path at the highest level. As a globally recognised intellectual property firm, it works with some of the most exciting and dynamic clients, harbours professionals with extraordinary expertise and handles work of the highest calibre. Equally as important, however, was the fact that Bristows is a full-services firm, which is committed to offering a flexible and well-rounded training experience. As someone who doesn’t yet have fully concrete ideas as to which practice area I would like to qualify into, it provides the chance to try a range of contentious and transactional seats. The midrange size of the firm has also meant that there has been a chance to get to know the teams and get involved constructively in the work from the start.
Crucially, Bristows not only offers the chance to engage constructively with work of this nature and quality, but the opportunity to do so in a collaborative, supportive and social environment. It has always been clear that at Bristows who we are matters as much as what we can do – a refreshing change from the approach of most City law firms. My interaction with the firm from the very beginning – including a speed networking event during the Winter Workshop – has confirmed that the friendly and approachable ethos of the firm is not overstated. All the way through studying for the GDL and LPC, the firm has maintained contact with the future trainees, from wishing us good luck in exams to involving us in social events, such as welcome drinks and the annual dinner dance. Now my intake of trainees are at the firm, Bristows remains committed to developing and supporting us, offering a range of breakfast and lunchtime social events and seminars.
The interview process really typifies the unusual blend Bristows offers: a balance between a dedication to excellence and hard work and a recognition of the individual and the importance of well-being. The interview was challenging, but the thing that I found most remarkable was the interest of the interviewers in me as a person.
- BA Modern History, University of Oxford
- MSt US History, University of Oxford