The Interview Series draws on the varied experiences of the Law Society's members and alumni. With former and current members undertaking Vacation Schemes, Training Contracts, Pupillages, the GDL in the UK and Law School in the US, we hope this is a great opportunity for those looking to find out more about life in the legal profession and to pick up tips for applications and interviews.
This week's interviewee is Mina Omar, who talks about her experience in landing a training contract with White & Case.
1. How did you decide you wanted to go into law?
I decided I wanted to go into law at the beginning of my third year. I had done a variety of internships, some public sector and some private, and had not really enjoyed any of them. Based on my previous internships, I knew that I wanted to work in a professional and slightly competitive environment and felt that law was more suited to my skillset and personality than either banking or consulting.
2. How did you decide which firms you wanted to apply to?
I applied to firms that focused predominantly on international work. I did not apply to any firms that were worked mainly with clients in the UK. White & Case stood out to me because of the format of its training contract and because of the guaranteed overseas seat.
3. How was the application and interview process?
I found the application and interview process for W&C to be fairly straightforward. The HR team was very forthcoming and friendly. I researched the firm online and tried to speak to as many W&C trainees during the law fair and found that the information I learned was really useful to bring up during the process.
4. White and Case is one of our biggest sponsors. After you did your Vac Scheme there, do you think st Andrews students are a good fit to their culture?
I definitely think so! The firm is extremely international (both in terms of the work it carries out as well as its trainees and qualified lawyers) and the workplace culture is great.
5. If you could meet incoming vac schemers and give them tips on how to excel during it, what would it be?
I would tell them to use the vacation scheme to learn as much about the firm as possible and to try and meet as many people as they could.
6. What do you think the law soc could have done better to help you?
I was not aware at all that I could have considered a career in law in either my first or second years at St Andrews. I think it would be great for the society to make sure that that information is readily available to younger students.
7. Did you attend the law fair? Did you get to network with recruiters there?
I attended the law fair and thought it was great. I networked with a multiple recruiters from firms I was interested in and felt that my meeting the W&C recruiters at the fair definitely helped me during the process.
8. What is the best advice you can give to other st Andrews students who want to become solicitors?
I would advise that students try and get involved in a variety of societies and make sure that they keep their grades relatively high (basically avoid the mentality that first and second year doesn’t matter). Law firms are pretty traditional in the way that they operate and they want to see a consistent level of hard work and involvement in the community.