I always envisioned fast-paced city life courtrooms, magnificent apartments, expensive dinners with high-powered friends at least. Ofcourse there would be money, but they would also be caffeine-fueled late nights from clash offices overlooking London. There would be dirt on some power-hungry banker selling secrets to foreign Prince’s private jets.
But, what is it really like are the horror stories of all-nighters and Sunday mornings then pouring over contractual fine print and partners who expect more than is humanly possible.
Maybe you’ve looked online at shiny websites or even spoken to an actual lawyer in the hope of finding out what the funnily enough just as high-end fashion labels don’t fill their home pages with pictures of complex supply chains and Chinese factories. So, two law firms present the sexiest side of international offices and partners working on huge deals and innovative fields.
Your firms have to sell themselves to clients and to graduates just like fashion labels do. That’s not to say that they don’t work on hugely exciting projects just to the realities of painstaking due diligence proofreading and research aren’t what most people aspire to when they dream becoming a lawyer, I felt frustrated that even after to vacation schemes of Clifford Chance and slopes in May, I hadn’t really got answers to big questions around lifestyle ethics and job satisfaction.
I think my jobs probably not as dramatic is it on a day-to-day basis. We do have moments of drama, we do definitely have moments of drama but it’s probably not quite as frequent as once.
The basics are essentially the same. We’re presented with business critical situations and where our clients and the business critical advice problems are actually in practice a lot trickier. I think to result of you know everything seems to fall out a place for those guys. Whereas, for us actually often you know that there isn’t really a right answer and it’s about getting your heads together and working out what’s the best situation.
Going forward, we perhaps don’t have the same degree of resolution that they do as well on a weekly basis, can you give an example of the sort of thing that if I’m the CEO of a company, I might come to you with saying I need you to solve this for me, I fall into the category of disputes.
Lawyers who tend to help if something’s got a bit wrong, you something that we do lots of here is when companies buy each other basically. I might be buying a company from you and I think it is worth a certain amount and it’s you know for lots of different reasons. It might be because you told me it’s worth a certain amount for lots of different reasons and then perhaps when I bought it actually it turns out not quite to be whatever I guess.
Now, I might want to get my money back. How I might want to be able to improve the company perhaps yeah and really it’s about kind of working out. What I can do in that situation, that’s the type of situation that might end up in. Perhaps, you know in a courtroom or something like that in the investigation space, there might be allegations that you know your employees have done something wrong.
One of their employees has done something wrong and you know that could be anything from bribery and corruption and right through to you know an employment dispute. Maybe, there’s been an allegation of bullying or harassment or something like that.
We might be brought in to try and help work out what’s actually happened and whether it presents any legal risks and I suppose what steps should be taken internally to manage those risks and made sure it doesn’t happen again.
I’ll get up at around 7:00 and the morning I spend with him, he hopped on a client call from home at 8:00 for 45 minutes he left home by 9:00 replied to a couple of emails and read some news on the way in and arrived at the office at around 9:30.
A couple of hours a day are dedicated to emails as a client focused business law firms. Clients expect pretty quick responses. He spends a couple of hours most days doing witness or expert interviews all calling clients, he then has another few hours conferring with partners on the cases he’s working on familiarizing himself with documents and drafting more formal submissions, this is spread around lunch which he tries to have away from his desk if at all possible.
If you have to even average a really kind of average of when you go home, yes I try not to stay in the office constantly which is probably a bit unusual to be honest that probably is a bit earlier than most easily and I’d say probably averages seven thirty hour climbs up.
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