Page 0016

" I came away with a new

appreciation of our

international business model"

On his trainee secondment in New York:

Michael, associate, Law graduate

from Leicester University

From the beginning of your

secondment you are given a high

level of responsibility. I arrived at the

office in an unfamiliar jurisdiction

and was greeted with the task

of helping to draft a summary

judgment motion for a billion-dollar

contract. That was nerve wracking

at times, but you spend a few days

reading the law, then get a grasp of it,

and you write the draft arguments. I

was totally immersed.

What else did you learn?

Responsibility, problem solving,

thinking under pressure, networking

- I honed all of these skills.

I came away with a new appreciation

of our international business model.

Finally, the 24/7 lifestyle in New York is

famous: sometimes we'd finish at 2am

then go for dinner together, or a run in

the park. Leaving the office in the early

hours, you'd see the fruit and veg man

still up selling his produce (he used to

tell me it was the best time for buying

blueberries) - all this just seems

normal in New York, the city is unique.

The highlights?

I am extremely grateful for the

whole experience, I would not have

changed it for the world, and I have

deep admiration for the people that I

worked with.

I absolutely loved New York, there is

so much to discover. I lived just south

of Central Park, near Cravath's office,

Worldwide Plaza, which is one of the

tallest offices in the area. Cravath's

meeting rooms are on the top floor, so

late at night you can head up for the

panoramic view of the city. From my

office window I could see the Statue

of Liberty.

Cravath went above and beyond

with extra details. For instance, on

the California trip they asked if I had

any food preferences. I made a joke

about how I liked Cadbury's and when

I arrived, they'd shipped out a whole

box. Extraordinary.

What was different?

I spent six months in the litigation

group at one of our relationship firms,

Cravath, Swaine & Moore, and the

striking thing for me was the sheer

scale of everything. I worked on two

cases involving Qualcomm, one of

the largest providers of phone chips

in the world, which meant going for

trial to Silicon Valley for a month.

This was amazing - you fly five

hours across America and when you

get there someone has set up your

whole desk for you, exactly how it

was in New York. You wonder if the

cases and trials can be as colourful as

portrayed on television: the answer

is emphatically yes.

14

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