"We all hang out a lot and would never leave someone drowning if they were the only one swamped."Trainee
Memery Crystal offers a friendly and supportive environment where you can develop as an individual. There’s not only variety and plenty of opportunities to take responsibility, but you will also surrounded by supportive, expert lawyers who are genuinely interested in your development. We recognise the importance of a good work life balance and have a genuine commitment to maintaining this through the benefits we offer and our social events such as the weekly Friday drinks.
During your Training
- Trainees rotate seats every 6 months with seats available in all our departments.
- All trainees like to have their choice of seats, we start communicating with you as early as day one as to your preferred choice. However, preference is given to our second year trainees.
- As a trainee you will be a key team member, working directly with a Partner and other fee earners within the team and across departments.
- All trainees have a supervisor allocated to them in each seat, who provides support and guidance. This runs alongside a formal mentoring scheme to assist trainees during their training contract and beyond.
- You will have a formal appraisal with your current supervisor and HR every 3 months during your training contract.
- Memery Crystal runs a comprehensive training programme which is available for all trainees to attend. This is in addition to the informal day-to-day supervision and external compulsory SRA training.
- You will be encouraged to use your initiative and to contribute your ideas and insights. We strongly favour the ‘hands on’ approach; our trainees do not spend their time photocopying or making tea!
- We currently have 8 trainees in total and aim to recruit 4 trainees each year.
Why not read more from the trainees themselves:
Trainee Profile - Danny Rosley
After thoroughly enjoying my law degree at Bristol University and the work experience I’d undertaken with the Bristol Law Clinic and other law firms, setting my sights on a career in law was a natural choice for me. The harder decision lay in which law firms I should apply to for my training contract. Initially I adopted a rather blind approach to the process, pursuing firms with the glossiest brochures, the best water bottles or (not-so-ashamedly) the most delicious canapés. However, I soon realised that this approach was not productive, and I had to think carefully about the qualities I would hope to find in a working environment and narrow my search accordingly.
Why Memery Crystal
I came across Memery Crystal in the Chambers and Partners Guide which at the time described the firm’s epic ‘David and Goliath’ case for which it won the Best Litigation Team of the Year Award. Delving into the firm’s website and reading more about its recent work, I was immediately attracted to its size, the type of work it does and the firm’s core values.
The first interview with the head of HR and a senior associate gave an incredibly positive first experience of being in the firm. The overriding impression I came away from the interview with was that the firm was truly interested in finding out more about me as an individual. This was further confirmed during the two-day assessment centre which involved an interview with two partners, a lunch with the current trainees, a dinner with fee earners from across the firm, as well as various group and individual exercises and tests. At no point did I feel that anybody was trying to catch me out on something, rather the whole assessment centre was designed to encourage individuality and openness from all involved.
My Trainee Experience
Having started my training contract this September, I am delighted to report that there have been no surprises – the positive impressions gained during the application process and from the Christmas and Summer parties I attended since, have all been confirmed. I am currently sitting in the Corporate Department and have been warmly welcomed by all. I have been involved in varied and interesting work, and asked to help with tasks which I feel some larger firms may leave for more experienced members of the team. The firm’s open door policy is truly refreshing and while everyone is busy and takes work seriously, people make time to chat and take an interest in each other. This is also invaluable in terms of gaining experience; being surrounded by people who are great at what they do and who are also motivated to share details about the transactions and cases they are working on, has enabled me to get a fascinating insight into the workings of the department from day one.
Trainee Profile - Suresh Patel
I will spare you the grisly details but, prior to pursuing law, I had studied Classics at Cambridge, and then worked variously in theatre, academia and politics. Though I surely had one of the most bizarre CVs of all would-be trainees in the City, I was at least clear on the sort of firm I was looking for: I wanted high-calibre and interesting work; I wanted to be surrounded by experts at the forefront of their practices; and I wanted the rich opportunities to develop that come with a small trainee intake.
Why Memery Crystal
From my own research, and from talking to friends and acquaintances, it quickly emerged that Memery Crystal could satisfy my rather vague criteria. However, a deeper compatibility materialised, too. After working for a barrister for a year, I was immediately drawn to Memery Crystal’s recent accolade of being the first firm to win in the same year both “Dispute Resolution Team of the Year” at the Legal Business Awards and “Litigation Team of the Year” at the Lawyer Awards. With my background in the arts, often facilitating the ambitions of enterprising self-starters, I also felt an affinity with Memery Crystal’s entrepreneurial client base. I was even heartened to hear that a few trainees had enjoyed previous careers in such areas as corporate transactions, publishing and property.
So Memery Crystal had that magic blend of general and specific appeal. But the Open Day clinched it. The Legal 500 will tell you that Memery Crystal’s partners are recognised leaders in their fields; but it won’t capture the way in which they spoke. They were passionate about their work. They were thrilled by the firm, its independence and its future. They were fanatical about attracting good lawyers and making good lawyers great. And yet they prized individuality, personality and a healthy work-life balance. By way of example, one partner, who has just been awarded “Property Tax Lawyer of the Year” by Legal Awards 2016 – Corporate LiveWire, conducts a choir in his spare time which has played the Barbican and Royal Festival Hall. That energy and those values may not have been for everyone, but for me it was a glimpse into precisely the sort of culture I was after.
My Trainee Experience
Two years later, I am currently in my first seat and, without the need for bribery, have landed in the Dispute Resolution team. My apologies for resorting to cliché, but it is true that no two days are the same. On gentler ones, I have drafted documents, compiled exhibits and undertaken legal research on a range of fascinating issues. Scarier moments have seen me attend client meetings, call foreign lawyers for advice, and sprint to the Royal Courts of Justice to file papers on time. I even appeared before a Master in my second week, which I am still working through with my therapist.
But that is exactly what I signed up for: to be on the front-line and to grow through doing. And though I have felt out-of-my-depth, I have never felt lost at sea. Colleagues are supportive, concerned and forever willing to share their knowledge. As daunting as tasks might seem, I am in no doubt as to the profound ways in which they contribute to my development as a lawyer, nor the experience of those pushing to get the best from me. It is a phenomenally rich and generous environment in which to learn.
Finally, Memery Crystal has the slightly odd reputation of being one of the nicest law firms in the City, and I can see why. People socialise together, raise money for charity together, and genuinely enjoy each other. As hard as we work, there is a palpable sense of having each other’s backs. And while a number of things may have led me to Memery Crystal, above all else this, I think, is what will keep me here.