• Name: Hebah Lina Berhan
  • Job Title: Trainee Solicitor
  • Location: London
  • University: -Other UK-
  • Degree: The University of Law - LL.M (With Distinction)
  • Areas of Specialism: Physics
EIP Hebah Lina Berhan

What was the application process like – any advice?

I submitted a CV and covering letter which was followed by an informal phone interview with the Head of Talent Acquisition. I then had an online interview with two of the partners and finally, two in person interviews, one with three partners and the other with the head of litigation.

My advice is to use all your available resources to fully prepare for the interview. The informal chat with the Head of Talent Acquisition is a great way for you to ask as many questions as possible. Personally, I find it’s important to know who is interviewing me (so that I can do my research on them) but also, to understand the personality types of each partner and what they are looking for. Some questions I asked the Head of Talent Acquisition were ‘what is the firm looking for in a trainee’, ‘what detail of case knowledge the partners are expecting I have’, and ‘what can I expect from the interview overall’.

I highly recommend using the careers service at your university if possible. I booked appointments with my universities career team weekly to go over my research into the firm and answers to potential questions I may be asked. Also, to do mock interviews which are extremely helpful in preparing you for interviews.

Is it a 9-5 job?

Absolutely not! You will have to work evenings, and during trial you may be expected to work weekends.

What skills are useful in this profession?

I have found that communication skills are key in the legal industry. Informing others of my workload, upcoming deadlines and/or capacity to take on work really helps with managing my workload.

Time management and organisation are two important skills which go hand in hand. At times I may have several tasks to complete, all with similar deadlines. When this happens, I will prioritise my workload and create a schedule to help with completing tasks on time.

Finally, being able to work well in a team is necessary for many IP lawyers.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession?

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have much experience when applying for entry level roles. You learn so much on the job, and some firms give you the option to take additional courses to expand your knowledge.

Most importantly, be confident in yourself! I can’t stress how important this is, especially when combined with a can-do attitude and an eagerness to learn you will succeed!

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