Current Trainees

The best advocates of our graduate careers are the trainees themselves. Read what four of them have to say about life at AG.

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Kimberley Yu

Job title: Trainee
Office Location: Leeds
Current Department: Construction & Engineering

How I got here

I studied the LLB at Queen Mary University of London, before completing the LPC at the University of Law in Leeds. I am originally from Hull and was keen to secure a position in a northern city with a thriving legal sector. AG's Leeds office immediately stood out to me, and having been able to attend the virtual vacation scheme in 2020, I was grateful to receive my offer for a training contract.

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A Culture of Collaboration

I was drawn to AG because it is an innovative and forward-thinking firm. I am constantly impressed by how the firm embraces new and efficient ways of doing things, whilst still recognising the value of its people. AG is a truly collaborative firm. I have had the opportunity to work with fee-earners from various departments and offices. I've also been well supported by the firm's other teams, such as TST. From helping put together a document to answering a quick question, they are a real asset to the firm.

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My First Seat

My first seat has been in Banking. This is a fast-paced, highly dynamic seat which involves keeping track of various deals running simultaneously. I have been involved with a variety of complex deals, working both borrower and lender side, which has allowed me to appreciate how our role differs depending on who we act for. There is a real sense of satisfaction when a deal has been completed, particularly when our clients provide positive feedback.

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Get Stuck In

I would encourage all trainees to absorb as much as they can, not only from completing their own work, but from everything going on around them. Sitting in on client calls, for instance, is an invaluable experience which really helps you understand the importance of what we do and the positive impact we can have on our clients and their businesses.

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Jack White

Job title: Trainee
Office Location: London
Current Department: Finance

How I got here

I originally studied Classics and Philosophy at university, and I later completed a Masters in Philosophy at UCL. Whilst at school, I was very attracted to the idea of working in the legal sector, but was ultimately dissuaded by some particularly unhelpful careers advisers, who insisted that (because of my disability and low socio-economic background) getting into the legal world was a mere pipe dream. I was first introduced to AG at a career fair at BPP, and was struck by just how warm and authentic everyone was, whilst also being a firm that provides first class legal work on an international scale. It was soon after that I heard about AG’s Legal Access Scheme, which became my ultimate route into getting a spot on to the vacation scheme, and ultimately in receiving a Training Contract offer.

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D&I – Understanding Other Facets of the Firm

The Legal Access Scheme, in my unreservedly biased view, is the jewel in the crown of AG's Diversity and Inclusion approach. It is specifically aimed towards attracting talented individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds and those with more of an unconventional education, and is designed to provide a route into law for those who find it impossible to find one otherwise. The firm encourages you, if you're interested, to play an active role in the various Diversity and Inclusion committees (such as Open AG, AG Embrace and the Disability Network) and in the ongoing CSR activities at the firm, including (for example) joining the Charity Committee. Getting involved in such is of real value, as their basic intention is to make positive changes both to the firm, and to those who need assistance which we can ultimately help with or provide. Specifically as a trainee, partaking in such committees and engaging in such activities also provides the opportunity both to understand other facets of the firm, and to get to know other individuals at AG which you may not otherwise get the chance to meet.

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My First Seat

My first seat was in Pensions, where my supervisor was the partner in the London team. The value of my experiences here, learning from such a noted individual within the pensions legal world, cannot be understated - particularly as a first seater (and as someone who knew absolutely nothing about pensions to begin with)! On top of that, my supervisor was readily available for any questions I had (and believe me, there were a fair few!). Typical tasks ranged from drafting deeds of variation, to running corporate due diligence on any particular pensions matters involved in that specific deal. Despite being my first seat, I was given plenty of client exposure and interaction from day one and this served to quickly establish myself as a core point of client contact throughout the 6 months of this seat. Despite being initially quite daunted by this prospect, it was an opportunity to develop client relationships and to begin to proactively engage in any ongoing matters. Responsibility is not something kept away and hidden from trainees at AG – on the contrary, trainees tend to be given the level of responsibility that they ask for. This is, again, vital for the personal development of each trainee, and is an aspect of the training contract with AG which I deeply appreciate.

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Getting Stuck In

My second seat was in Infrastructure, Projects and Energy (IPE). Working in IPE often results in working on a wide variety of matters ranging from local government work, to rail, renewable energy and international project finance work. This seat necessitated the development of a whole new skill set, namely: project management. This is a great example of a skill which, realistically, can only be learned and developed by sheer trial and error. Rolling one's proverbial sleeves up and getting stuck in was essential, and demonstrated another great aspect of the firm and its people: their willingness and encouragement for trainees to get deeply involved in the completion and/or solution to client matters. Those within the firm are not worried about throwing us in the deep end as long as they feel that we are ready, and this serves to teach essential skills which cannot be learned in theory alone. This ultimately results in developing more well-rounded lawyers, and in establishing a sense of trust in you as an individual which inevitably results in huge boosts to one's confidence. This is an aspect of the firm that should not be overlooked nor undervalued.

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An Environment for the Long Term

Ultimately, the core strength of any business is found in the people that constitute it. Everyone I have met and worked with at the firm has been genuine, kind, and talented. As a trainee, you genuinely feel that you become a member of the team that you're in. This is a direct result of the people at the firm, and I believe ultimately results in better trainee-development. This in turn creates an environment that you feel you want to be a part of for the long term.

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A Helping Hand When Needed

I feel I have been supported by the firm every step of the way, and that people at all levels of seniority within the business are ready to give a helping hand when needed. AG seems to truly understand that a supportive and open atmosphere directly results in a better environment in which to professionally progress - which of course extends beyond just the trainees, but also into NQ and junior Associate levels too.

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Kathryn Wilson

Job title: Trainee
Location: Edinburgh
Current Department: Corporate

How I got here

Originally from the seaside town of North Berwick, just outside Edinburgh, I went on to study Law with French at the University of Glasgow. I was lucky enough to study French law at university in Lyon for a year, before returning for my Diploma in Professional Legal Practice and beginning my traineeship with AG in the autumn thereafter.

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Learning in a Fast Paced Environment

I have recently finished my second seat in the firm's Finance department. I have found the work to be vastly diverse and I've had the opportunity to get involved in a significant range of deals, including asset based lending, leveraged finance, funds finance, and corporate acquisition finance. As my experience has increased over the last 6 months, I have taken significant responsibility for the negotiation of key documentation and the condition precedent process, and have served as the principal point of contact for clients and the other side on a number of high profile deals. It's been really exciting to work with such dynamic and ambitious clients, who have ranged from large institutional investors to smaller more bespoke corporations. The transactions that I've got involved with have frequently been complex, interesting and high value, often with a multi-jurisdictional background which inevitably makes things more interesting!

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Market Leading

Having completed the first year of my training contract, one of the aspects of working at AG that is really attractive as a trainee is that regardless of the level of seniority, everyone seems to really enjoy their work and shows a real enthusiasm to take the time to discuss a legal issue or the background to a transaction in depth. Every client, matter and deal is different and it is the challenge which this variability brings which ultimately helps your professional growth. Its great exposure to regularly work with individuals who are regarded as being at the top of their respective fields, and this is reflected in the market leading status of many of the teams.

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A High Level of Trust

As a trainee, you find that you're relied upon to a high degree by both the associates and partners in the team. You're really encouraged to put yourself at the forefront of deals and I've found it to be really beneficial to my progress to assist a partner in the same way that an NQ or junior associate would otherwise do. This increased level of responsibility throughout the 2 year period is what makes the training contract experience at AG so enjoyable!

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Gareth Bell

Job title: Trainee
Location: Manchester 
Current Department: Commercial 

How I got here

I studied History at the University of Sheffield and completed the GDL the year after I graduated. While I was studying on the GDL, I applied to do a vacation scheme at Addleshaw Goddard. On the vacation scheme, the people I worked with got me involved with their deals and invited me to sit in on client calls. My vac scheme buddy knew I was a cricket fan and arranged for me to play with the AG cricket team during the vac scheme. I'd done other vacation schemes at other firms but even after the first few days I knew that this was the right firm for me and didn't hesitate when I received a call, offering me a training contract.

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My First Seat

I requested litigation as my first seat and sat with the commercial litigation team. From the start, I was immediately involved in high-value, high profile cases. The highlights of my first seat was when I was able to attend a court hearing and an appeal, which made the time I had spent helping the team to prepare for the hearings well worth it!

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A Valued Part of the Team

I have just completed the second seat of my training contract in Real Estate. I've loved working as part of one of the biggest Real Estate teams in Manchester. I have been able to get involved in really complex work for high profile clients, as well as being given the chance to manage certain matters by myself. The level of trust all members of the team have placed in me has given me a massive confidence boost and a vast amount of experience.

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Feeling Included

The best thing about AG is the culture of the firm. As a trainee, you're encouraged to get involved a variety of work and work with different members of the team. I've found that if you put your hand up and want to get involved, then people really appreciate that and will always make the time to help you out and give you lots of feedback on your work. Everyone is always willing to take the time to speak to you whether it's about work or just to chat generally which makes me feel like a really valued member of the firm.

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