October 2022: Are you a first-year student and ready to #LaunchIntoLaw? Join us in London for a two-day insight scheme and get to know our people, our culture and our work. Future trainees Ria Chahal, Tommi Hutton and Shruthi Madhusudan look back to their own experience and share advice for students applying now.
It's about getting to know the 'personality' of a Firm...
Tommi Hutton: "Great financials, claims of diversity and inclusion and huge deals can be found at many firms in the city. I wanted to gain an understanding of the true nature of the Firm before the time came to make training contract and vacation scheme applications."
Ria Chahal: "I was really drawn to the Firm's international outlook and their unique offering of a guaranteed overseas secondment. I believed the insight scheme would be a perfect opportunity to find out more and if I would be a good fit."
Shruthi Madhusudan: "I applied to the first-year insight scheme primarily to get to know the Firm better and learn about the key practice areas. I also knew about the Trainee Buddy allocation on the scheme, and I thought that would be a great chance to ask some tough questions."
...not a test of your legal knowledge
SM: "There were no legal questions asked nor a knowledge of the law expected. Everyone, law or non-law, is treated the same and it is more a chance to get to know the Firm rather than specific legal concepts."
RC: "I found no knowledge of the law is required at all, just an interest in the commercial world and an eagerness to learn more about it."
TH: "The real need for the law comes when your training contract begins. No one is out to test you. At this stage, commercial awareness and market understanding is priority."
Ask questions, but there's no need to try to impress anyone
RC: "The insight scheme was a lot more interactive and personal than expected. I felt comfortable asking questions."
TH: "My best advice would be to ask the questions that you cannot answer through a search engine. It's not every day that you'll get to have a Q&A with partners, so make the most of it."
SM: "I would say the best questions to ask are things you are genuinely interested in rather than generic questions to try and impress. For example, ask a question about a practice area or a Firm member's journey at White & Case."
You can cover a lot in two days
SM: "My experience on the two-day scheme matched my expectations: We had talks on diversity and inclusion as well as an insight into construction arbitration and capital markets. I really enjoyed the talks and the chance to get on a call with my Trainee Buddy."
SM: "My first impression of the Firm was 'Wow, everyone has such a fascinating background and is genuinely passionate about the work they do'. I still believe this about the Firm today."
RC: "The Graduate Resourcing team and everyone that spoke to us were extremely friendly and welcoming, which is a good reflection of the Firm's culture."
Link your application to your experience
TH: "Many applicants fall into the trap of purely reciting the Firm's brochure. Linking back to your own personal experience will always add credibility to your application. The future direction of the Firm is a strong area to review as it may be a few years until you ultimately start work at White & Case!"
SM: "My main advice would be to get involved in as many opportunities to meet the Firm—whether it is the insight schemes, careers dinners or the virtual learning programme. Also, make sure you spend time doing Firm research to truly understand what sets the Firm apart. Another piece of advice is to value all types of work experience and include them in your application—the skills you learn may be invaluable in a legal career."
TH: "White & Case's Graduate Resourcing team also went out of their way to offer every candidate a personalised application guide. A member of the Graduate Resourcing team sat down with me one-on-one and pointed me in the right direction. The advice I learned from the scheme was instrumental for my later success. This level of interaction and genuine interest was far beyond my expectations."
RC: "If you are even slightly interested in a career at White & Case definitely apply, as without it I wouldn't be where I am today, with a training contract. It is the perfect opportunity to find out what makes White & Case a good place to train and work while ensuring it is a good fit for you."
SM: "As much as the first-year insight scheme application process, and later on the vacation scheme, is you trying to get to know the Firm and sell yourself—it is also about the Firm's getting to know you and whether you would be an asset to the team. The best way to demonstrate this is to be yourself throughout the whole process."