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From application to qualification

Emilio Salice details his time so far as a Freshfields trainee solicitor

Emilio Salice portrait

About Emilio

I studied music at university...

But I had always been interested in law, so I ended up doing the graduate diploma in law (GDL) and the accelerated legal practice course (LPC) at BPP. There were lots of future Freshfields trainees on both the GDL and LPC, which made my first day less daunting than it might have been.

My day starts at varying times...

I check my Blackberry early as emails often come in from colleagues and clients in different time zones (or from those in the London office working late). I don’t live too far away so I try to jog in twice a week – the fact that there are showers at work make this easy. I then tend to eat breakfast at my desk, catch up on the news and make a bit of a ‘to do’ list.

The work is varied...

Recently I helped an associate draft a note of advice on the re-organisation of a property business. Since it involved putting some of the companies into liquidation, we worked with the real estate and tax teams to find out the consequences in these areas.

I also worked on a government inquiry, as some of our clients gave evidence in front of a committee of MPs. We watched the hearings and took notes on the questions to research points the MPs were particularly focussed on. There was some less stimulating work to do – ensuring all the documents were printed out and filed – but in context it wasn’t too bad.

Frequent and high-quality training...

I currently sit in the restructuring and insolvency team within the finance practice, and there is excellent training both for trainees specifically and for the wider team. The departmental training involves weekly sessions run by associates on key topics, such as administration and liquidation, while the team training sessions might be run by lawyers from other practice groups. A recent breakfast meeting involved a fascinating discussion about the implications of Brexit on restructurings.

The facilities, sports and social events are a plus...

There’s a lot going on outside of work too. I have been playing seven-a-side football with Freshfields and I can play tennis at Lincoln’s Inn Fields before work (London weather permitting). I sometimes even try to go to the music room to keep up the piano.

There are opportunities to network and socialise as well. I went to the restructuring and insolvency client summer party at the Saatchi Gallery a few weeks ago. Being a trainee can be hard work but events like these make it much more fun.

The application process...

Seemed simpler than other firms’ processes. It involved two one-hour interviews and a writing exercise. The interviews were about my personality and analysing a business-focussed article. Associates tell me that keeping up with the commercial issues that international businesses grapple with is important for their development so I can see now why that’s so important to the firm.


If I hadn’t joined the legal profession

I would have tried to become a musician.

View of Chrysler building and a Freshfields lawyer laughing in the office
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