Eki Adeghe is a trainee lawyer at city law firm DLA Piper. She graduated with a 2:1 in law from University College London and was offered an interview for a training contract with DLA after a 2 week summer work placement in her second year of university.
9:00 Arrive at work. My working day usually starts at 9 and when I leave really varies depending on how busy it is. On average I probably end up leaving at about 7.30, but if there is a big case/deal on then I can finish quite late. As a junior, working hours are not usually too flexible.
9:10 Reply to emails
9:30 Prepare a task list for the day. There’s loads of different tasks that make up my day. I attend client meetings, review documents, draft letters / legal documents / emails etc, carry out research, work on business development activities, preparing client pitches, the list goes on! In terms of prioritising my work, I usually start with the tasks that have the most urgent deadlines or alternatively the tasks that take the longest.
9:45 Feedback to my supervisor about a research task I have carried out for a client. Research is one of my least favourite tasks, but it is also satisfying when you find the answer that you have been looking for.
10:00 Update research memo including my supervisor’s comments and send it to the necessary person/people.
10:30 Attend a conference call with a partner to take notes. I really enjoy client meetings and any kind of interaction with the client. Being able to relate to people on the other side is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job.
11:15 Type up conference call notes
11:45 Record time for the morning
11:50 Start an electronic document review for a financial services investigation
12:30 Lunchtime catch up with a couple of trainees at Pizza Express. City professionals are generally fairly social and in my trainee intake we do often go to the pub together after a long week at work!
13:30 Complete electronic document review
15:00 Coffee break
15:15 Draft a letter to another solicitor concerning a litigation matter
16:00 Team meeting to catch up on current work throughout the department. At this point in my career I do not manage other people but it is something I am likely to have to do in the future.
17:00 Start a research task for a partner about a new European Directive
18:30 Leave the office. In my spare time, I enjoy going to the gym, playing netball and meeting with my friends. I try to make sure I don't take work home with me so that I get a good balance.
Law is definitely not for the faint hearted! You have to work hard and have a strong academic record to get a foot in the door. Competition is stiff and you have to be resilient. However, despite all the negativity you may hear about life as a city lawyer it is a genuinely exciting, dynamic and fast paced profession. The clients you get to meet and the issues you get to deal with are complex, interesting and make the job worthwhile.