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Gifty Okonkwo

For trainee Gifty Okonkwo, the firm’s social scene and commitment to mentoring set it apart.

Gifty Okonkwo portrait

Freshfields’ reputation and the really well-structured training contract are what attracted me.

I was interested to see top tier work at a diverse firm.

There is expertise in multiple areas but whatever you see, you can guarantee that you'll get the best quality work.

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There’s an amazing level of flexibility,

and trainees get a wide and varied range of choice. We have the opportunity to experience many different areas of commercial law and can choose to spend more time in those we enjoy.

Freshfields is a very open firm and there is a really strong commitment to mentoring.

People take a keen interest in each other’s futures, not just at trainee level but all the way up and even outside the firm. For example, we all have a dedicated partner who is our mentor – who will take the time to discuss our progress and preferences. We are always encouraged to think about what we’d like to get out of our careers and given assistance to make that happen.

There’s a lot going on socially in the firm.

I’ve recently been to a fair few events: the LGBT+ Afternoon Tea; a closing dinner for a matter I was involved in; the Summer Corporate Party; several vacation scheme social events and a JATNO, which is a junior associate and trainee night out.

London’s a busy city and I really like it.

There’s always something to do and you don’t necessarily have to have a lot of money to enjoy it. It’s really diverse so if you’re into a language, or you want to try a certain type of dance, or you want to run with a certain kind of group, you can guarantee you will find it here. There’s something for everybody.

Trainees should remain open minded.

Meet as many people as possible and try as many things as you can. Once you know for sure what you want to do, don’t be afraid to commit to it.

In your interview try and see yourself as an investment.

Think about why the firm should invest in you. Have a bit of self-confidence, throw modesty aside and be prepared to explain what you can bring to the table in a way that is confident but not arrogant.

Freshfields in three words: hard-working, sophisticated and fun.
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