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Reanne Thomas: On Track to Becoming a Solicitor

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“I was able to visit Clifford Chance the summer before I started university… from then on I was hooked and knew I wanted to be a lawyer there.”

Reanne always had big dreams of becoming a lawyer. As a secondary school student, Reanne applied to participate in Clifford Chance ACCESS, a  two-year development programme dedicated to introducing the legal world to students who come from underrepresented backgrounds. Here, she was given the chance to learn legal skills, attend workshops, develop commercial awareness, secure tutoring and mentoring opportunities and get a taste for what it might be like to work at a firm like Clifford Chance. 

Reanne’s visit to Clifford Chance as part of ACCESS before starting University kick-started her passion for the legal industry and in particular in Clifford Chance. Whilst studying, she felt that she would benefit from securing more legal experience so that she could continue to develop her understanding of what life would be like as a junior lawyer at a leading global law firm and help prepare herself for the process that lay ahead.

With her eyes now on a career in law, Reanne embarked on the grueling journey of searching for opportunities and skill-building exercises to try and achieve her dreams.

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“It can be difficult when applying to different firms as you really have to tailor your applications so that was something I struggled with and really needed to gain that important firm-specific insight that is so tough to understand as an outsider looking in.”

After receiving rejections from big firms for legal work experience opportunities her confidence was knocked and she developed a real sense of imposter syndrome. It was then that Reanne came across the Clifford Chance Climate Change Global Virtual Internship and completed it in preparation for her interview. 

She noted that “the work was quite challenging” and that she enjoyed learning about the effects of climate-related legislation on Clifford Chance’s clients. “One of the tasks in the programme was researching a climate-related bill and identifying potential legal issues for a client. I thought that was great because we ended up discussing sustainability during my training contract interview and so I talked about the legal issues that I had identified and how that would affect clients.” 

Her confidence grew as a result of the legal skills that she developed during the internship. She was able to gain a deeper understanding of the real-life tasks that trainees at the firm would typically undertake. From building client communication skills to learning how to improve and reflect with the model answers provided, she experienced invaluable insight into the career and felt ”increased confidence going into my interview.”

Overall Reanne says, “I found that the greatest antidote to my low-confidence and imposter syndrome was expanding my knowledge. The virtual internships are great because they are available to everyone and anyone can gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to work at Clifford Chance. It can be completed at your own pace too which gives you the flexibility to fit it in around your commitments.”

Sign up for the Clifford Chance Global Virtual Internships here.

Connect with Reanne on Linkedin here

Follow Forage on LinkedIn here.

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