Alexander L.
Trainee Solicitor
Job category Law

About Alexander

Key Experiences

State comprehensive to international law firm.
Internship with the legal and compliance teams at Citibank in London (2013):

I learnt a great deal, not only about corporate life but also about working on a trading floor and with an in-house legal team at a global bank. I was introduced to employees in a number of different areas of the bank (legal and non-legal) and worked with people at all levels. Working with the lawyers at Citi sparked a re-think in whether I was suited to a career at the bar (which was top of my preferences at the time) or whether a career as a solicitor would be more appropriate for me.

Studying at the Sorbonne in Paris (2013/2014):

Gaining the opportunity to study at the Sorbonne in Paris was realising a long-held dream of living in France and studying at one of the most prestigious universities in Europe. My year abroad underlined the importance of choosing a career that would allow me opportunities to work abroad and interact with different languages and cultures.

Two-week Winter Vacation Scheme at HSF (Dec 2014):

A week spent in both Corporate and the Dispute Resolution departments at the firm. An insight into the culture and working lifestyle of the trainees, associates and partners. By the end I knew that pursuing a career as a solicitor (and training at HSF in particular) was the right move for me.

Current Position

I am a second-seat trainee. My first seat was in securitisation
In my first seat I worked alongside my supervisor (a senior associate) and a partner, on complex and at times highly technical structured finance transactions. Prior to starting my seat I had no background in finance or economics (bar a self-taught A-level) and therefore knew the work would be a challenge I would relish. Every transaction that I have worked on has been slightly unique in its own right and this has ensured no two working days have been the same. The first 6 months of my training contract have flown by.

In my second seat I am in dispute resolution working on general litigation as part of HSF's unique advocacy unit.

Main Motivations

Intellectually stimulating work in a supportive and open environment
Given that the securitisation team is smaller than other areas of the firm, it allows a trainee a great deal more responsibility. The work itself is complex, and often quite demanding, however you are surrounded by a supportive team who understand the difficulties for someone new to this kind of work.

Top Advice

Bring enthusiasm and a rigorous work ethic, and you will go far
From my experience, the one thing that supervisors seem to universally appreciate is a trainee or vacation scheme student who is always willing to lend a hand and learn more about the work/transactions the team is involved in. If you can combine this energy with thorough, thought-out work, then I believe you will place yourself in a very strong position for a training contract at HSF.

Greatest Achievement

Achieving a first in my degree (Philosophy & French)
Something that had felt like a very distant and lofty objective when I embarked on the four-year course at the University of Exeter. That, plus finishing my philosophy dissertation on Karl Marx's theory of human nature which, for the large part of my final year, had completely taken over my life...

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