London: A Day in the Life

9:30 am: Arriving at the office I grab a coffee and check what emails have come in overnight.

9:45 am: My supervisor and I have our daily run through of tasks and priorities and catch up on any news from over the weekend.

10:15 am: As nothing on our matters is too pressing this morning, I turn to a pro bono case I’m working on with a colleague from my previous arbitration seat. The case concerns a constitutional challenge in a jurisdiction where homosexuality is illegal. I summarise some recent case law and feed some drafting comments into a client memo. I then phone the senior associate on the case and discuss next steps.

11:50 am: A partner in my department invites me to a client pitch meeting being held later in the week and asks if I can pull together a briefing pack on the potential client. I research the company and produce a corporate and litigation portfolio. I also run internal conflicts checks and summarise any recent news items.

13:00 pm: I go out for lunch with the rest of my trainee intake. Eight trainees per year is enough to not feel isolated but small enough to mean a close knit group. Our number is currently pretty depleted due to trainees being on secondment to the Hong Kong and Moscow offices, and others attending the annual business education course in New York.

13:50 pm: I prepare for our global division conference call in which associates and partners report from each office on the progress of cases and deals. Antitrust and competition is an area where matters can be both transactional and litigious, which makes for a varied and interesting call. I provide a briefing on a recent ECJ decision which is relevant for merger control. I update our internal tracker documents which show the progress of our global filings.

15:00 pm: I attend a meeting as a member of the London diversity committee at which we discuss affinity networks and upcoming inclusion training. I have conversations afterwards with members of our HR team about an upcoming recruitment event.

15:35 pm: I return to my desk and progress some work on our team’s current main deal. We are making regulatory filings in the EU, US and fifteen other jurisdictions. I draft some instructions for local counsel in Tanzania and review a packet of board documents for legal privilege. Like most deals and cases at the firm, I am the sole designated trainee on this matter - although daunting at times it means early responsibility and substantive, interesting tasks.

16:20 pm: In September I will be qualifying into the firm’s litigation department and so I attend some witness interviews on the case I’ll be working on as an associate. I take a note of the interview and then present a short summary of how it went for a colleagues who were unable to attend.

17:40 pm: As my current team produce a note on restraints of trade for Practical Law, I review some recent European Commission decisions and update the note accordingly.

18:30 pm: I take a call from a colleague in the New York office who I previously worked with extensively during my White Collar seat. We discuss plans for her upcoming visit to London and catch up on office news.

19:00 pm: I set up a meeting with the trainee due to be taking over from me and produce a handover note.

19:30 pm: I check in with my supervisor, since there is nothing else urgent for today we both log our time entries and leave the office.

19:40 pm: I head to the firm alumni summer party, after which I go out for drinks with fellow trainees and some junior associates.