Name: ABBY DORANI
Department: COMPANY COMMERCIAL
Degree: FRENCH & SPANISH, GDL
University: UNDERGRADUATE AT UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH AND GDL AT NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I started my undergraduate so chose subject
that I enjoyed. I was always a bit bookish and wanted a career with progression, so not long after I started my undergraduate I started to think about the different options and law was the one that stuck out the most!
Why Hay & Kilner LLP?
I was lucky enough to come to Hay and Kilner to do some work experience whilst I was at university. I found the firm friendly and the people approachable. Also, as I was a non-law student when I was applying for training contracts, it was appealing that Hay and Kilner are a full service firm, as at that stage I had no idea what kind of law I would want to do. Knowing that there would be a wide variety of departments to try out across both commercial and private client sectors was quite appealing.
How are you finding your current seat?
I am enjoying my current seat. I didn’t study many commercial modules at university so I do really feel like I am learning things from scratch, but so far that doesn’t seem to have been a problem. I quite like technical work and this seat certainly gives me the opportunity to experience that!
What were your previous seats?
What makes Hay & Kilner LLP different?
It is hard to explain but the firm just has a great vibe. I like the people I work with and the variety of work – one minute you might be working on a multi-million pound transaction and the next you are helping someone at the other end of the scale.
Talk us through a typical day in your current seat at Hay & Kilner LLP.
No two days are quite the same. I usually try to get in for about half 8 when I will check my to-do list before tackling the most pressing things. The day usually involves reviewing and drafting documents, going to meetings and speaking to clients and intermediaries on the phone. As trainees we also get invited to a lot of social events in and out of the firm, which is always an enjoyable addition to the day.
What’s the best part of your job?
Working hard on a transaction and then getting to experience the sense of achievement when it (hopefully!) completes successfully.
Is there much chance to get involved with Business Development at the firm?
Yes, there are quite a lot of opportunities. The firm itself puts on events during the year, including drinks and seminars. Trainees are invited along to these to mingle and widen our networks.
There are also a number of local organisations that put on events, such as the Young Professionals Forum and the Junior Law Division. These give us the opportunity to mingle with other solicitors and other professionals of a similar level and age, which is a great opportunity to build our network for years to come and also helps raise the firm’s profile amongst the more junior local professionals.
How much responsibility and client contact do you have as a Trainee?
This will vary from seat to seat. In some seats I have had a lot of client contact, whilst in others a lot of the communication is done through an intermediary, by phone or email. It is possible to go through a matter without actually meeting your client, although usually your supervisor has met them.
In other departments, there is a lot of client contact with regular face to face meetings and phone calls to take instructions or provide updates.
Overall, I think I have been given quite a lot of responsibility over my training contract. Whilst I have been well supervised, I do think that the supervisors have given me the opportunity to try and take things forward myself.
If you decided not to become a solicitor, what career would you have chosen?
I always wanted to be a writer when I was growing up, so although I think it can be very difficult to be successful in that field, I think I would be an author. Who knows, there is still the possibility I might write a book in my spare time one day!
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a potential applicant to Hay & Kilner LLP?
In an interview or on an application, don’t try and give too many stock answers. The firm really wants to know who you are as an individual and it is as much about your wider experiences and your personality as it is about your academics.
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