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Future trainee Millicent on the London vacation scheme

Millicent Ojemere tells us how her experience on the London vacation scheme helped her decide that White & Case was the right firm to start her career.

During the scheme, there were many opportunities to get involved in a wide range of work, like assisting an associate with research for a case or working on a pro bono case that required creating a summary of best practices for submitting evidence to court.

“I first got to know White & Case through events like WCAN Law Conference and I was motivated by the opportunity to gain an in-depth experience of working at a commercial law firm on the vacation scheme.”

In-depth work, research, negotiation and pro bono exposure

I sat in the Litigation/Arbitration department for the duration of the scheme. A number of firms have participants rotate between different practice areas, but I liked that we sat in one department for the entirety of the vacation scheme. This gave us the chance to really get to know the department and see substantial projects through from beginning to the end and see how our work made an impact.

We also had to write a memorandum to a fictional client summarising a commercial topic. Coming from a non-law background, the task initially seemed somewhat daunting, so I made sure that I understood the scope of the task and how exactly memorandums are formatted. This reflects what day-to-day life working at White & Case is like: As a trainee, you work as a team on various projects and there are many people and resources available to help you. 

Pizzas, Bake Off and the London Eye

Personally, my most enjoyable task was the negotiation exercise between the vacation scheme participants. We were divided into teams and tasked with coming up with a winning strategy for our pizza companies. Tensions ran high as we negotiated through different circumstances and unforeseen problems. It was an incredibly enjoyable exercise regardless of the fact that my team did not do particularly well!

It's hard to share a single highlight from the vacation scheme, however, the "Great White & Case Bake Off" event, and "Champagne on the London Eye" definitely feature at the top of the list. I was also taken out for coffee and lunch with trainees and it was these interactions that made me feel that White & Case was the Firm I really wanted to work at. Having down-to-earth conversations with people who work in the Firm gives a much better idea of a firm's culture.

Open culture and the power of networking

I think White & Case's culture can be summarised as being open. I feel like it is an environment where I'm free to be myself and genuinely feel very comfortable. A lot of firms say that they are international, but this truly is the case at White & Case. In the office I sat in, there were six languages spoken between us. As I continued to get to know people around the Firm, it became clear that the vast majority of the work done is international too. The chance to use my language skills is one of the biggest reasons I applied to White & Case. 

My biggest takeaway from my vacation scheme is that the level of the experience reflects what you put in. There were networking events organised for vacation scheme participants, but I also took the chance to go to departmental events too. Networking can seem like an incredibly daunting task at first, but it's ultimately just talking to people about what they do and asking questions about themselves."

Millicent will join the London office as a trainee in 2022. 

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