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Amy Spencer

Amy Spencer, Associate

Freshfields in three words Challenging, collaborative and sociable

Amy Spencer, Associate

Amy Spencer, Freshfields Associate, talks about workplace diversity, professional development and universities.

I have no idea where most of my colleagues went to university.

I went to Manchester and by the time you arrive at the firm there’s no difference between Oxbridge and non-Oxbridge lawyers; it’s just not a thing. People shouldn’t see their university choice as a potential barrier here. It’s exactly the same situation with law and non-law graduates: I couldn’t tell you who on my intake studied law and who didn’t.

It sounds a bit weird but I was surprised by how normal everyone is here.

When you first think about the big City firms, it can be scary. Sure, people here are very driven and successful but they are still very down-to-earth and easy-to-get-along-with. People are very much open to different points of view.

You’re not expected to be a full formed lawyer from the start.

Freshfields has a friendly, collaborative environment. Training contracts are structured so that you can develop at the right pace and the firm invests a lot in our development: we have training in everything from specific legal topics, to sessions on handling pressure and presentation skills. I think that really differentiates us from other firms.

I am on the Associate Women’s Network, which is one of three women’s networks in London.

One thing we do as a committee is arrange client speaker events. Most recently we arranged an event with Dame Helena Morrissey, who was really interesting – she talked about her life experience and gave us tips on how to encourage diversity in the workplace. Our women’s networks do lots of other things, too, like an a cross-departmental mentoring scheme where female associates can choose to be paired up with a more senior mentor from another department, running internal events, such as a recent event on agile working with senior partners and others around the firm sharing their views on how we can improve our working practices.

What does Freshfields expect of trainees?

Strong people skills; someone who you could comfortably spend 12 hours in an office with. In fact, team orientation is tested in interviews.

What can trainees expect of Freshfields?

To learn to a lot – it can be quite a steep learning curve, and the learning continues even after you’re qualified.

Freshfields in three words

Challenging, collaborative and sociable

First year undergraduate
  • Open day

    25 April 2019

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 21 Feb 2019

  • Freshers meet
    Freshfields workshop

    4 Dec 2018

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 9 Nov 2019

  • Spring scheme

    • 10 Apr – 11 Apr 2019

      Application window dates:

      1 Oct 2018 – 21 Feb 2019

    • 17 Apr – 18 Apr 2019

      Application window dates:

      1 Oct 2018 – 21 Feb 2019

  • Open day

    25 April 2019

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 21 Feb 2019

  • Vacation scheme
    insight workshop

    6 Dec 2018

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct – 9 Nov 2018

  • Summer vacation schemes

    17 Jun – 5 Jul 2019

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 3 Jan 2019

    8 Jul – 26 Jul 2019

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 3 Jan 2019

  • Training contract 2021

    Summer application window dates:

    Law (UK LLB) only

    3 Jun – 18 Jul 2019

    London/Asia training contract 2021

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 31 Jan 2019

  • Open day

    25 April 2019

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 21 Feb 2019

  • Training contract 2021

    Winter application window dates:
    Law and non-law

    1 Oct 2018 – 3 Jan 2019

    Summer application window dates:
    Law (UK LLB) only

    3 Jun – 18 Jul 2019

  • Final year non-law Workshop

    11 Dec 2018

    Application window dates:
    Non-law only

    1 Oct – 9 Nov 2018

  • London/Asia training
    contract 2021

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 31 Jan 2019

  • Open day

    25 April 2019

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 21 Feb 2019

  • Training contract 2021

    Winter application window dates:
    Law and non-law

    1 Oct 2018 – 3 Jan 2019

    Summer application window dates:
    Law (UK LLB) and GDL graduates

    3 Jun – 18 Jul 2019

  • Graduate workshop

    13 Dec 2018

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct – 9 Nov 2019

  • London/Asia training
    contract 2021

    Application window dates:

    1 Oct 2018 – 31 Jan 2019

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