Why did you decide to start your legal career at Ropes & Gray?
I saw myself at a firm that prides itself on an approachable, collegial and team-based culture. Ropes & Gray also advises on some of the most complex multijurisdictional transactions. The firm hires the best people, and has won numerous awards for the transactions that it works on. I wanted to grow at a firm where the work is complex and the learning opportunities abound. The firm also cares a lot about the impact it makes in the not-for-profit sector. Ropes & Gray is a firm that has heart, ambition and personality.
How has Ropes & Gray helped you build a career as a lawyer?
I applied during my second year in the law program at UCL to do a vacation scheme at Ropes & Gray. It was a great way for me to find out more about the type of firm that Ropes & Gray was, and it gave the firm the opportunity to assess if I would be a right fit. I was thrilled to receive a training contract offer and joined the firm as a trainee in September 2019. There are numerous structured training sessions at the firm that are fitted around the seat that you are presently in. It has been helpful to share an office with a supervisor as well, as this gives me the opportunity to ask about matters in an approachable environment.
Ropes & Gray is a firm that has heart, ambition and personality.”
Tell us about a memorable matter you’ve worked on.
One of the more significant matters I worked on was the acquisition of a start-up that develops virtual reality and artificial intelligence technology for doctors. I was able to see the transaction through from start to finish. I also had the opportunity to take the lead on various work streams that a junior associate would not ordinarily be tasked with. It was impactful to watch the progress over time and the adrenaline-fueled buildup of finally getting the deal over the line in the final few weeks. As someone that took a keen interest in health care law at university and would have picked the medical profession in a different life, this was a great opportunity to work on a transaction in an industry that I have a strong interest in.
As I was fortunate to see the transaction from start to finish, and because of the smaller size of the team working on the deal, I was able to work on a number of aspects of the transaction. My work on the deal ranged from assisting with the drafting of segments of key transaction documents, such as the warranties in the SPA, to working with the seller’s counsel to firm up some of the corporate approvals. Attending the physical closing at the end of the transaction was a really exciting moment, and it was fulfilling to be there to see the immense joy closing the deal brought the founders of the company. Over the course of the transaction, because of the level of responsibility I was given, I was able to expand on my skill set and understand our role in ensuring that the commercial negotiations between parties are translated into both a rule and guidebook.
Tell us about a pro bono matter you’ve worked on.
I completed a grant agreement for the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund's establishment and implementation of an Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) Facility. The grant agreement will be used as a template to provide funding to 11 organizations that have successfully applied for project funding.
It was really fulfilling to witness the clients’ gratitude. The finalized agreement allowed them to deploy the funds they had received for numerous eco-projects around the Caribbean.
I find that a strong culture of respect for individuality and teamwork has fostered the firm’s success.”
How would you describe the firm’s culture?
The diversity in personalities is what has left the strongest impression on me from my interactions with Ropes & Gray employees. I think much of what makes the firm what it is today is due in part to how it has decided to focus its attention on being excellent in certain areas of the legal sphere and how it then translates that excellence back to society and the legal industry through its broader goals.
What tips would you give a potential applicant?
Find out what the firm does and cares about. I think a large part of what makes Ropes & Gray what it is, is the focus the firm puts on both the work it does and the firm “spirit.” Apply for opportunities to engage with the firm—be it at open days, vacation schemes or even at the university law fairs. It is essential that you find out if you are a right fit for the firm, and it also gives you the opportunity to benchmark what would matter to you most as a trainee solicitor.