Harvey Specter in Training?
So today I wanted to write to those who have they’re eyes on that flashy fast paced ‘Suits’ lifestyle after Uni.
All of my life, since I first watched Legally blonde, I wanted to be a top lawyer, working with big firms and endless meetings. I wanted to live the life that everyone in Suits has; big corner office in a beautiful Manhattan skyscraper and always on the go. So on arrival to university I began looking for internships and first year schemes just to put my foot into the door. My experience so far has been far less successful than I had initially hoped but I wanted to talk about how you can balance your career aspirations with university work and what it’s been like for me.
I would say firstly, don’t ever lower your expectations. I need you to understand that you will get rejected… multiple times… but you will also learn ALOT. I, so far have applied to 4 first year programmes, and been rejected from 3. I am currently on the Aspiring Solicitors first year programme and through that I’ve been able to go to a lot of open days in London for a range of different firms. What I need you to know however, is that you need to be pragmatic. Don’t get bogged down into an emotional re-evaluation of your life after each application but instead take time to reflect on the application itself and figure out how to get better. Just like Louis Litt always emphasises, this is a competitive field. There is always someone else gunning for the same spot you are.
Now, regarding university support I would definitely have to say that you are fortunate to be coming here. Warwick Law School has an amazing reputation around all of the Magic Circle firms and International firms. There are alumni everywhere and someone you could always contact to find out about the firm that studied here. Not only that, the Law Society (which is free to join) has plenty of big name sponsors most notably; White & Case, Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy to name just a few. In term 1 I probably attended at least one career’s talk from one of these big law firms a week, talking to trainees and the graduate recruitment team. Essentially, what I’m trying to stress to you is that don’t feel like you have to do this all on your own. There I so much support given to you as a first year that you start feeling increasingly comfortable with the whole concept of training contracts and commercial awareness etc.
Going back to Suits, I would like to also stress how important it is that you understand that at the end of the day, all of these job offers won’t start becoming a reality until second year or third if you’re on a four year course, so don’t get too obsessed. Yes, we would all love to be Harvey but first, we need to get the grades. First year might be worth 0% of your final grade but it means a lot when you start applying next year and also for yourself to understand how you revise and how you can be the most productive. Going to an open day or having an internship will not excuse you form doing the work, I have missed seminars and lectures for open days but I have to come home and do the notes regardless because that has to be your top priority.
At the end of the day, your career means a lot, and for many of you I’m sure you have an idea of what you want to do and where you’re heading, but I need you to proceed with caution. Be realistic and pragmatic, there is always going to be an opportunity here, it’s solely down to you how you wish to use it.