Skip to main content
“Turn your nerves into excitement!”

March 2024: 2026 trainees Alice Greenbury and Emil Ali reflect on their London vacation scheme experience and share advice for future applicants.

Tell us about yourself

Alice Greenbury: I recently graduated from the University of Edinburgh where I studied English Literature. My love of analysing words led me to consider a career in law and enrol in the PGDL. I am currently in my final term of the conversion course and will commence the SQE in 2025.
Emil Ali: I graduated from UCL in 2023 after reading law. I completed the Winter 2023 Vacation Scheme, and I am now seeking out paralegal roles and plan to go traveling before commencing my SQE in September 2025. Outside of law, I am a keen sportsman and avid musician, which are passions that I hope to foster throughout my career.
How did you first get to know White & Case?

EA: In my third year of University, I attended the White & Case Careers Dinner for UCL students, after which I was inspired to apply for an Open Day in the London office. Before my successful application for the vacation scheme in 2023, I completed the Virtual Learning Programme, which gave me a taste of the work completed by trainees at the Firm.

AG: I got to know the Firm predominantly through Inside White & Case, and the 'On the Record' podcast. The enthusiasm and curiosity of the Firm's lawyers was evident to me and chimed with my own ambition to work with energetic, interesting people.

Talk us through the vacation scheme application process

AG: The cover letter gave me a great opportunity to structure my experiences and motivations in a way that felt authentic to me and my journey into law. I felt at every stage that I could let my natural enthusiasm shine through.

EA: I successfully applied for the vacation scheme during my second application cycle—this is important, as it demonstrates that just because you fail the first time around does not mean you don't belong at your dream firm.

What did you want to get from the vacation scheme experience?

EA: Firstly, to network with senior lawyers from as many practice areas as possible, secondly, to learn about the Firm's diversity and inclusion affinity networks, and thirdly, to discover first-hand from trainees about their experience training at White & Case.

AG: I wanted to gain insight into the workings of an elite commercial law firm and experience first-hand the work of a White & Case trainee.

What was unexpected or surprising about your time at the Firm?

AG: I was most surprised by how genuinely approachable, warm and humorous people were. I could picture myself as a trainee, forging friendships and enjoying collaborating with those at the Firm.

EA: One of the most unexpected things about my vacation scheme was the sheer amount of diversity within the Capital Markets team. I was working with, and meeting lawyers from, not only the UK, but also continental Europe, South and East Asia, Africa, Australia, and the US, to name but a few.

What did you discover about being a lawyer at White & Case?

EA: Firstly, being a lawyer at White & Case means that you will be regularly working on high-value international matters for global clients, which often requires cross-border collaboration with international offices. Secondly, you are surrounded by driven individuals who are generally experts in their fields, yet they are consistently supportive and forthcoming, which creates an extremely conducive working environment.

AG: There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to being a lawyer at White & Case: The people I met came from different countries, backgrounds and specialties. This creates a huge store of knowledge that the Firm can rely on for complex, multijurisdictional matters, but also means endlessly interesting conversations with those at the Firm.

How can you make the most of a vacation scheme?

AG: Although it can be an intimidating experience, try to turn your nerves into excitement and show real interest in the work you are given. Figure out what makes those around you tick and connect that with your own ambitions.

EA: My key advice for future vac schemers is to set yourself personal goals for your scheme and keep your blinkers on so as not to be deterred by what anyone else is doing. In that same vein, however, the other vac schemers are your biggest asset, so make sure to support one another.

Finally, what was your personal highlight from the experience?

EA: My personal highlight of the experience was the London Taxi Challenge, an amazing evening social that required us to ride by taxi (and sometimes run!) across London to complete challenges in a scavenger hunt-type activity.

AG: My highlight was a dinner with partners near the end of the fortnight. Not only was it a great celebration after lots of hard work, but talking to the partners in a more personal capacity further emphasised the human ethos of the Firm.