Why did you choose Ropes & Gray to start your legal career?
Having decided on becoming a transactional solicitor in the private capital space, I short-listed the best firms for training in that area, and Ropes stood out as a firm that not only provided this, but focused on the retention of home-grown talent. Both my head and my gut told me that Ropes was the perfect place to start my legal career, and they’ve both proven to be right.
How did you find the recruitment and selection process?
I did my vacation scheme during lockdown and Ropes was, in my opinion, the only firm that went the extra mile to get to know each one of their applicants to make an informed decision on our future at the firm.
The assessments felt appropriately pitched, challenging while not trying to trip you up, and everyone was receptive when I asked for five minutes of their time for a chat about their respective workstreams or experience.
How would you describe the firm’s culture?
You’re accepted and championed at Ropes for the individual additions you bring to the firm both in and outside of your work. From day one you’re treated with respect, given real responsibility, and encouraged to build your personal brand and network.
Tell us about a memorable matter you’ve worked on.
A recent asset management closing, where the LP counsel and fund counsel encountered some technical difficulties in the lead-up to closing. Due to certain mechanics, if we had missed this deadline the closing process would have had to be restarted, incurring unnecessary fees for both parties. We stepped in to take over the administrative signing process, with literal minutes to spare, sending out several S.O.S. firm-wide emails for technical help. A colleague in the US was on-line and stepped in to save the day. We closed the transaction with two minutes to spare… to the relief of all involved. While the process wasn’t our responsibility, it was in the interests of everyone to get this over the line, and all parties were extremely grateful. Imagine the feeling you get after getting off roller-coaster. It was a bit like that except I was in a suit.
Tell us about a pro bono matter you’ve worked on.
I recently brought in a new client to the firm – Insulate Ukraine – who we are advising on certain corporate matters. It is truly rewarding to take the financial burden of certain processes off an NGO like Insulate Ukraine so that they’re able to channel all their resources to their mission: installing affordable and blast-resistant polyethylene windows in homes across Ukraine where they’ve suffered damage as the result of bombing. Being encouraged to onboard new clients as a trainee is rare in our line of work and this engagement examples the firm’s commitment to supporting Ukraine more broadly in their ongoing fight for independence.
What tips would you give a potential applicant?
Be clear, be concise, be thorough and be yourself. You won’t be the right fit for every firm but, if you’re right for Ropes, and you do all these things, you can’t go wrong.