Tracy is a future trainee solicitor at Rosenblatt Limited. She is currently a Disputes and Investigation paralegal at Slaughter and May. She studied law at the University of Exeter. Tracy is also a New York Bar candidate.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself
After I completed my Law degree, I went straight on to do the LPC without having secured a training contract. The financial commitment of self-funding the LPC was a little daunting but I was fortunate to secure a TC with Rosenblatt after a fantastic vacation scheme.
With a 2-year gap between completing the LPC and starting my TC, I decided to take time out from law to work as an Assistant Manager of a busy pub in Mayfair, London. Working in pubs is something that I really enjoy, and I learnt so many transferable skills that I will take into my legal career.
At the start of the first lockdown, I decided to spend some of my free time helping aspiring solicitors gain vacation schemes and/or training contracts through creating events and resources to try and pass on as many tips as possible. It’s been great to network with the legal community through this and immensely rewarding to receive messages of success as a result of my help.
2. What attracted you to Rosenblatt?
I first heard about Rosenblatt after speaking to an associate at the firm. Rosenblatt is one of the small handful of UK law firms to have listed and the first law firm of its kind to establish a separate arm to finance clients’ external litigation costs. I thought it was pretty interesting to read about how this drives their growth strategy and how this sets them apart from other law firms.
Having spent some time volunteering at a charity that helps litigants in persons at the Royal Courts of Justice (Support Through Court), I developed an interest in dispute resolution. Upon further research, I was drawn to Rosenblatt for its reputation in this area as an aggressive litigator, often going up against much larger players despite the size of the firm. To avoid narrowing into a niche too early on in my career, Rosenblatt’s full-service capability and reputation in other practice areas was equally important. Regardless of the area I decide to eventually qualify into, I knew that Rosenblatt would be able to provide a fantastic working environment for me to form the all-important building blocks of my career.
3. How did you make yourself stand out from the crowd during your vacation scheme?
I made a conscious effort to take myself out of my comfort zone and to start conversations with as many people as possible during my time at the firm (without coming across as annoying!). On the morning of joining a new department, I went around the office and knocked on doors to introduce myself. I think this helped in two ways: 1) it shows that you’re friendly and confident and 2) people will remember you. This is obviously not possible at the moment with virtual VS but there’s no harm in reaching out for quick virtual coffees as far as capacity allows for it.
It’s obviously also important to show that you’ll do a great job as a trainee. When I was set a task, I took the time to understand what was expected from me, asked plenty of questions and asked for deadlines. I completed my work to a high standard and triple checked before sending anything off.
Finally, I was just being myself!
4. What do you find most challenging about studying for the New York Bar and how does it compare to the LPC?
To be honest with you, balancing my time between a full-time job, studying and helping aspiring solicitors can be challenging at times. This has definitely pushed me to be an even better organiser of my time and to show greater discipline with sticking to timetables!
In terms of the course, there’s a heavy work-load much like the LPC. You’re learning large volumes of law and applying them to problem questions like you would do in the LPC and LLB. What’s different is the Multistate Performance Test, which assesses your ability to sift through documents, facts and law for an artificial jurisdiction. It’s a 90-minute practical exercise which is designed to mimic tasks a typical junior lawyer might face!
5. Briefly tell us about a recent legal issue that you find interesting.
I’ve attended a few webinars on Legal Tech recently. I guess I was somewhat naive thinking that it would be really easy for a fantastic piece of tech to a) want to be used by all law firms and b) to be embedded into firms. Obviously, this hasn’t been the case. Alex Su on LinkedIn is great for highlighting problems with this. There’s around a 50/50 split in law firms leveraging tech to deliver legal services more efficiently and cost effectively. Although digital transformation has been sped up by around 5.3 years due to the pandemic, there are still investment, regulatory, ethical and social challenges to greater adoption of legal tech. There is massive value in speed and how quickly a task can be turned around. This, however, needs to be balanced with the need for law firms to protect profits and avoid costs but I can’t see why we wouldn’t want to increase a fee earner’s capacity by moving them to higher valued, more revenue generating work.
It’s quite interesting to see this practical aspect being applied in my current role. Paralegals are pushed to help associates increase their uptake of tech by making them aware of what is available to them. We have also been invited to suggest tech that could be procured. It’s rather exciting being part of firms who place tech at the top of their agenda.
6. What are your top tips for prospective applicants?
- Make sure you really know what you’re looking for in your future firm and what you want to get out of your time there. Apply to firms that are align with this rather than going solely for firms with prestige.
- Work out what makes a strong application whether it be a cover letter or form. Structure. Clarity. Easy to follow. Make sure you understand what ‘being generic’ means!
- Be patient with the process and focus on what you’re doing. Comparison culture isn’t healthy (though, we all suffer from it).
7. Wildcard question: Would you rather go back to age 10 with everything you know now or know now everything your future self will learn? Why?
Back to age 10 with everything I know now. I’ve got too much to learn in the future, and knowing everything would ruin the fun.