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The First Five Years: Sindhura Swaminathan
Paris associate Sindhura looks back on the lessons of her early career

Paris-based Project Development and Finance senior associate Sindhura Swaminathan looks back on her first five years as a lawyer, first as a trainee in London and now as an English law and French law qualified associate in our Paris office. 

Working across borders is a wonderful experience
I have been fortunate enough to do secondments in New York, Paris and Johannesburg, both as a trainee and as a solicitor. This has clearly broadened my horizons and exposed me to how international and diverse White & Case is. Of course I travel regularly for work and also to meet clients to try and develop new business opportunities for the Firm. I trained in London and transferred to Paris after a secondment here.

Ask questions; manage your time and workload
It is extremely important to not get overwhelmed. Manage your workload appropriately and ask questions regularly. I have had some very busy moments in each seat, but requesting help from fellow trainees, associates and partners made those busy moments seem less daunting. 

Find your balance
As a lawyer, I'd describe myself efficient, analytical and commercial. I smile a lot, maybe too much when stressed. It's crucial to take a break from time to time. Keeping fit, even with a heavy work schedule, helps me stay alert and energised.

Joining my team was an easy decision
I joined the Project Development and Finance team, which was my second seat as a trainee. I knew this was the department I wanted to qualify in as soon as I finished my seat. The quality of the work and the amazing associates made this an easy choice for me. Also, the international aspect of my work was just an added bonus. 

Working on notable transactions is extremely satisfying
On a recent transaction, I was the lead associate and was involved in every aspect from A to Z. We managed to close the deal in record time whilst finding innovative solutions to structure the transaction. The client was thrilled and we also won the 2019 Africa Air Finance Journal Award.

I am also proud of the pro bono work I do, including some award-winning work for Doctors Without Borders.

Embrace the learning curve of your first few years
As a trainee and junior associate, I was always staffed on multiple deals and managed to effectively work on all of them whilst having some time to continue my hobbies. It wasn't always easy. The key is to take each challenge at a time. I wish I had been a little more confident with clients. But these things come with time.

White & Case is one of the most diverse firms I know
This was one of the key reasons I accepted the offer to join as a trainee. The international setting and diversity of the office network is truly impressive and cohesive. I would describe the Firm as international, award-winning, diverse and fun.

What the next five years have in store…
My aim is to continue growing as a lawyer and build a solid, high-quality practice with the help of my colleagues and the White & Case network. I want to be part of the leadership that shapes our Firm in years to come. I am an active member of the women's committee and want to continue to develop and grow our work and impact across the Firm. I hope to be a role model for the new joiners of the future.

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