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The journey from trainee to partner
“Tenacity, diligence, wanting to succeed”. The recipe for success

London trainee Anna Rawlence sat down with partner Victoria Landsbert to find out about her career highlights and journey with the Firm.

Anna: What personal qualities do you think you need to succeed here?

Victoria: Tenacity, diligence, wanting to succeed and go the extra mile for your clients. Not being afraid to get stuck in and learn—or to ask for help. What would you add?

Anna: Time management! I have learnt so much about how to allocate and prioritise my time, especially when you have matters that are at very different stages. I really agree with how important it is to get involved—there’s also a real sense of teamwork and camaraderie that comes from that. I know that my fellow trainees have really got my back and vice versa.

“You need to be a team player, no question.”

Victoria: Yes, teamwork is absolutely key to what we do. You need to be a team player, no question. And to be aware that working in a team can mean working with people across multiple different countries, legal jurisdictions and time zones—as well as those in the office on the next floor.

Anna: You’ve spent your whole career at White & Case; is that right?

Victoria: Yes! For me, there has always been a new challenge or new opportunity here, which is one of the exciting things about being part of a firm that’s on a really ambitious growth trajectory. 

The international nature of the work is another reason—the matters that I work on, and the teams that I work with are always global. So it’s constantly interesting and never the same. We’re always ahead of the curve.

Anna: I spent my first seat with the Private Equity team and really experienced for myself what ’global’ work means. My very first task when I started was to establish a foreign company branch in the UK. Every email, call or meeting could be with colleagues in another country, but we work so closely together that they could be just next door!

Victoria: We’re in an industry that depends on strong interpersonal relationships, within teams and with clients. No matter what area you ultimately specialise in, you’ll find that you cross paths with the same people many times. That’s true whether you pursue partnership, move firms or become a general counsel.

“We’re more open and less hierarchical than other law firms.”

Anna: How would you describe our internal culture?

Victoria: Our culture is something else that sets White & Case apart. We’re more open and less hierarchical than other law firms. Our people feel comfortable, can be themselves and are able to learn and build their careers. And the fact that we are so international means that trainees get to expand their network quickly, which is exciting.

Anna: I agree. I would say that the people that I have met so far have all been really warm and welcoming, from partners to my fellow trainees and everyone in the London office. I also find that the Firm culture is very open-minded and incredibly supportive, and that’s been a really positive experience and something that runs deep.

Victoria: Yes, and our ambition and our drive have always been there too. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of expanding into new markets, and I think that pioneering spirit is still tangible.

Anna: What advice do you have for anyone starting their career here?

Victoria: Treat each six-month seat like a job interview. Make sure that the team around can see you as a potential future associate in their group. Show yourself to be willing, be keen to get involved and really embed yourself in our culture. Take every opportunity that comes along. And remember that your fellow trainees will be your best friends, future clients or fellow partners one day—so take the time to get to know them!

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