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Dorothy Adu-Mfum: Path to Clifford Chance

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“Although I achieved a first-class in my law degree, I had a lack of understanding of how to gain access to the legal industry or what it took to become a lawyer.”

Although Dorothy has always been interested in a career in law, she worked a few years in the banking industry before actually pursuing a legal career. Growing up around lawyers, she was inspired by their work and cases and now, she is following in their footsteps. Despite this, she still felt as though the legal field was inaccessible for her. 

Coming from a low socioeconomic background, Dorothy has worked multiple jobs since the age of 16. Recently she has been working as a Researcher and Diversity and Inclusion lead at Fides Search while also founding her own organization called Law City “which connects aspiring lawyers from low socioeconomic backgrounds to the legal sector.” 

“Forage gives you an insight into what life would be like at various companies… it’s an invaluable tool which gives you hands-on exposure to the work lawyers do.”

During the pandemic, Dorothy utilized Forage to gain access to legal firms. She took White & Case’s Antitrust programLatham and Watkins’ Banking programLinklaters’ Hong Kong SAR program, and Clifford Chance’s Climate Change program. All of these programs gave her an insight into where she wanted her career to go.

Through the programs, Dorothy notes how “Forage gives you an insight into not only the workplace but how law firms run as a business as well.” The business aspect allowed her to learn and prove she had marketable skills in the legal field such as what goes into a pitch and how to properly write a client email.

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“I didn’t know if a legal career was for me or if I was capable but doing the virtual work experiences allowed me to see that I had the skills needed to work as a commercial lawyer”

As a champion for increasing diversity and inclusion within the legal industry, Dorothy thinks “Forage not only gives access but allows people to see that a career in law is not “high, mighty, and unattainable but it is something that anyone can do if they put in hard work, gain knowledge and persevere in their journey to become a lawyer.” Through Forage, she found her confidence.

Similar to how she felt law was inaccessible to her, she thought the same of Clifford Chance. “Clifford Chance is the dream firm… When I started applying for training contracts, Clifford Chance was always one of my top firms but I didn’t think I would get a training contract there.” Starting in August, Dorothy secured a training contract she thought was out of reach. 

Advice from a Clifford Chance Future Trainee: “Just go for it”

Dorothy discussed how she has heard a lot of aspiring lawyers tell her that their grades and experience are not up to par to be successful in applying for a training contract. However, she urges, “you will never know unless you try, the worst thing that can happen is they say no, and when they say no, you just try again or find something more suitable for you.” You don’t want to create barriers for yourself that aren’t there. 

Connect with Dorothy on Linkedin here.

Follow Forage on LinkedIn here.

Erica started as a Content Writer Intern with Forage in January 2021; previously, she interned with The Borgen Project and wrote for HerCampus.