Holly M.
Job category Law

About Holly

Key Experiences

From History student at Cambridge to trainee at a top global law firm
I chose to study History at university as I had (and still have) an academic interest in that field. However, I never saw it as a career path. Throughout school and university I did some work experience with a couple of regional law firms, and quickly learned that the type of skills I was developing through my studies were very transferable to work as a solicitor. This experience also helped me understand the type of work I would be doing as a lawyer, and (perhaps more importantly) that I really enjoyed this work.

I applied for a vacation scheme with HSF during my second year of university. This was definitely the best decision for my career as it gave me insight into the life of a trainee at a leading city law firm. I was also able to get to know the culture of the firm, and soon realised that I would fit in well.

I am now in the final seat of my training contract and will be qualifying in March 2017. My career is very much in its infancy, and I'm excited to see what the next few years will bring.

Current Position

Trainee working on cross-border, multi-jurisdictional disputes
I am currently sitting in the firm's disputes practice, and will shortly be moving overseas to work with our disputes team in Dubai. My seats so far have involved a wide range of different types of work for clients from across the globe. In corporate, I assisted several deals involving companies which are household names in several parts of the world, and in real estate I worked closely with one of the UK's largest pension investment funds. I am now working on cases which stretch across South Africa, Gibraltar, India and the USA. This has given me a real insight into the truly global nature of the work we do at HSF, and the extent of the resources which the firm has at it's fingertips to ensure we are providing clients with a first class service.

Main Motivations

Every day brings something different
When I get to work in the morning, I'm never quite sure where the day will take me - a new instruction might come in requiring urgent assistance, an old client may request help on something unexpected, or I may be asked to assist with an ongoing matter which needs extra resources. This makes my job exciting and often unpredictable.

As a trainee, I also like being able to gain experience in several different parts of the firm. Not only has this helped me decide what area of law I would like to specialise into, but it also means I now have a wide range of key contacts across HSF. In such a large firm, developing this personal network is really important.

Top Advice

Be yourself
One of the most important things to remember is to be yourself when writing applications and attending interviews. Don't write or say what you think others want to hear, but what you want them to hear. There's no point in pretending you've always wanted to pursue a particular career path if it's something you've only been thinking about for the last few months, and more often than not people will see through this. Individuality is key!

Greatest Achievement

The little things that make this job both challenging and rewarding
I can't point to one specific moment where I've been 'most proud'. Rather, the everyday achievements such as reaching an important deadline, getting good feedback on a piece of work or cementing friendships with colleagues are what make me proud of how far I have come in my career over the last 18 months. My job is often challenging, but this makes even the small wins so rewarding.

Herbert Smith Freehills

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