"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 our monthly social committee 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 10 trainees in total and aim to recruit 5 trainees each year.
Why not read more from the trainees themselves:
Trainee Profile - Liam Hill
While at sixth form I started to consider what I wanted to do for my career and it was a constant toss up between law and politics. Eventually I decided to go with the former and ultimately studied straight law at Exeter. My work experience at this stage involved working at a local auction house, valuating and cataloguing antiques, in a company with circa 10 employees.
I was fortunate enough to be offered a training contract at Memery Crystal at the end of my second year at Exeter. Following graduation, I took a few months to travel round New Zealand before jumping straight into the LPC at the University of Law, Moorgate.
Why Memery Crystal
Attending various presentations and cocktail-making evenings from the magic circle firms whilst at Exeter initially lead to me being tempted by the big corporate world – it all seemed rather glamourous and exciting. But once the façade is pulled away, you soon realise that you would be just be a tiny cog in a much larger machine, where individuality, originality and material contribution are all secondary. Working in a small local firm, there was an ethos of ‘just get on with it’. Trust and responsibility were characteristics I had been used to – I had become comfortable with being a key member of a smaller team, rather than being just a number on a page. This was something I wanted to retain when looking at law firms, and a smaller city firm seemed to fit this profile.
Memery Crystal prides itself on its culture and having now worked here for over a year, I too pride myself in the firm’s culture. With an emphasis on building relationships, both with colleagues and clients, trust, responsibility and individuality are key core values that embody Memery Crystal. It ensures that the work you do is engaging whilst maintaining a fun and dynamic workplace.
My experience of the application process was reflective of the firm as a whole. Everyone involved was understanding, but would encourage you to be expressive, have a go and be yourself. It felt less important if you were right or wrong (so long as you weren’t completely off topic!), but more important to be yourself, engage in the tasks and explore different ideas and options. It felt as though the firm was investing in people, everyone involved took an interest in me – not just my capabilities, but my interests, my background; what made me, me. There were discussions on current affairs (predominantly Brexit, at the time) and my take on this – but it felt less like an assessment and more of a conversation. It took the pressure off and the whole process felt more relaxed and ultimately easier to engage with.
At the time, I had just finished my second year at Exeter – I had a foundation level of knowledge of the law, but I had no legal practical experience. I hadn’t studied the LPC, so the day-to-day skills you learn there were also beyond me. I was far from polished. But this was all irrelevant. As I said, it was clear that everyone throughout the process was looking to invest in people – it didn’t matter that I didn’t have a comprehensive knowledge of the law, or whether I knew the CPR Rules. What mattered was being an individual.
My Trainee Experience
Starting my training contract and first seat in the Construction team was a great place to hit the ground running. The team showcases all the firms values in abundance – trust, individuality, responsibility, sociability, supervision, collaboration, to name but a few. The team is small but this was a great place to find my feet. Everyone in the department was understanding and aware that I had no legal work experience behind me. But they also encouraged and pushed me to give things a go. Work would be given back to me marked up quickly and it gave me a chance to review what I had done right and more importantly where I’d gone wrong. Feedback was (and is) never condescending or disheartening – supervisors were and are always willing to talk through my work and show me how to improve. This meant that after a few weeks, the tasks I was being given were more engaging, but my work too was improving quickly.
Ultimately, I would frequent client meetings, call clients to discuss matters, suggest options and take instruction as well as draft and circulate documents, all within a matter of months of starting. Again, this is testament to the firm as a whole and the philosophy of investing in people. It always feels clear that everyone wants not just the firm to succeed, but all of us as individuals too. With an open door to ask questions coupled with an expectation of trust and initiative, my training experience so far has been incredibly interesting and engaging. I’ve felt comfortable (and encouraged) to not only ask questions when I am unsure but to provide suggestions and ideas too, even at the most junior of levels. My experience has been overwhelmingly reassuring and it has been a real pleasure to work at a firm and as part of a team where I genuinely feel valued.
Trainee Profile - Charlotte Hall
I studied Law at the University of Birmingham. After graduating, I worked as a paralegal in a high street law firm to gain some experience before I studied the LPC. Working in a small firm meant that I had lots of client contact and good levels of responsibility, so this is what I was looking for from a training contract. However, I wanted to pursue a career in a larger law firm where I would be able to experience a wider range of practice areas and high quality work. After working for a year, I completed my LPC and Masters in Law and then moved to London, where I started working at Memery Crystal as a paralegal in the Real Estate Litigation Department.
Why Memery Crystal
My priorities for a training contract were to be part of a small trainee intake in a firm where I would get good hands-on experience and training and where my contribution to a department would be valued.
As a paralegal at Memery Crystal, I was able to see for myself the great quality of training that was given to trainees, including good levels of client contact, high levels of responsibility and exposure to high quality work. The firm also offered a good range of practice areas for a trainee to experience which appealed to me.
I found the application process at Memery Crystal to be open and genuine: it didn’t feel like the questions or assessments were designed to trip you up and were instead intended to help the firm to really get to know each applicant. I got the impression that the firm valued individuality and that they weren’t looking for trainees that fitted into one specific box.
The assessment centre included tests, group work exercises, a presentation and interview. The firm held a drinks reception one evening during the vacation scheme so that the applicants could meet the fee earners and partners. I was really impressed by the number of people who turned up to meet the applicants, which showed me that people throughout the firm took a real interest in the recruitment process and wanted the opportunity to meet the potential future trainees. Throughout the whole process, both assessments and socialising, I felt put at ease: everyone was very friendly and down-to-earth and the process was geared towards giving me a chance to get to know the firm as well as giving the firm a chance to get to know me.
So far, I have completed seats in the firm’s Dispute Resolution and Corporate departments. Regardless of the department I have been working in, I have always felt able to ask for help and been well supported. As well as receiving plenty of feedback from the associates, senior associates and partners I have worked with, we also have reviews every three months which give us a chance to discuss our training and any concerns we may have with our supervisor as well as giving us another opportunity to receive feedback as to what we have done well and the ways in which we can improve.
Overall, I have found my trainee experience so far to be very enjoyable, interesting and rewarding. In terms of workload, I have been involved in a wide variety of legal tasks from the outset, including settlement meetings, drafting a variety of documents, research and attending court. This was the level of exposure that I was hoping for from my training contract and it hasn’t disappointed.
I have found everyone at Memery Crystal to be incredibly friendly and supportive. During the first couple of months of my training contract, I was taken for welcome lunches and the firm hosted office-wide welcome drinks. The second year trainees also organised the firm’s annual Landmark Challenge (effectively a landmark treasure hunt around parts of London), which was a great opportunity to get to know my fellow trainees, my new department and the rest of the firm. The firm hosts a variety of social and charitable events throughout the year, from the annual Bake Off to monthly firm-wide socials in Stella’s (the office canteen) to the competitive quiz night. Trainees are really encouraged to get involved in all of these events and they are a great way to get to know people and help to make you feel welcomed into the firm.