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Jonathan Barnett

Jonathan Barnett, Associate

Freshfields in three words Open, friendly, excellent

Jonathan Barnett, Associate

Jonathan Barnett, Freshfields Associate, talks about responsible business, global secondments and fulfilling your potential.

I originally applied to Freshfields thinking I didn’t have a chance.

I feared it would be an elitist place where you’d only encounter a narrow range of people with a very particular background. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I went to my local state school and Durham University and I’ve found Freshfields to be a very welcoming and diverse place, in which everyone is genuinely interested in having the broadest range of people and viewpoints to reflect the diversity of our clients.

I spent six months in our Dubai office as a trainee.

Suddenly, I was spending weekends on boat parties and beach parties, going to concerts and traveling around the region to Jordan or Africa. Also, as an associate I was seconded to Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London, which gave me a really clear insight into how they operate and the pressures they face. At such an early stage in your career, that’s a really a great way to build relationships with clients and become one of the people they automatically think of when they have a problem.

Our responsible business initiatives mean your skills benefit the local community.

I’m part of the Stephen Lawrence Scholarship programme so I’ve interviewed potential scholars, overseen parts of the recruitment process and had people shadow me for the week they are in the firm. I’ve also mentored students from Haggerston School in Hackney, and been involved in the Royal Courts of Justice CAB drop-in centre giving people procedural advice.

There’s lots going on outside of work, too.

Our running club meets twice a week for runs around the City, and we enter events ranging from 5ks to marathons. I’m also part of my team’s social committee, which organises events throughout the year. Recently we’ve had a pizza-making evening, a bowling night, we’ve just had a garden party in one of the partner’s houses, and we have a junior associate and trainee night out for every seat rotation, which inevitably ends up with karaoke.

What does Freshfields expect of trainees?

Just to do the best you can. That sounds simplistic but we recruit people who are very conscientious and very capable. Ultimately, you are expected to fulfil the potential we’ve spotted in you. That’s precisely why we invest in our trainees so heavily.

What can trainees expect of Freshfields?

Firstly, actively looking forward to coming into work and seeing your colleagues, and that remains the case as an associate. Secondly, in the same way you are expected to achieve your potential, Freshfields gives you the framework and support to be best lawyer you can be.

Freshfields in three words

Open, friendly, excellent

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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