Name: Isi Ewah
Degree and university: Economics BSc University of Birmingham
Job title: Trainee solicitor, Berwin Leighton Paisner
Why did you decide on a career in law? I chose law because of my interest in the business world and its objectives of success, growth, and income generation – knowing that law forms the fabric of commercial interaction between people and institutions on a global scale. I knew that I wanted to work alongside hardworking and talented people, and apply myself to challenging work.
What did the application process involve? After submitting a successful application, I attended an assessment centre at the firm, which involved a presentation, an in-tray exercise, letter drafting, and a negotiation exercise followed by an interview with HR. I then completed a two week vacation placement in the summer, at the end of which I was interviewed by two partners.
What are you doing in your curent seat? EU & Competition Law Team, based in Brussels. I am currently working on a large competition investigation researching EU environmental policy, in particular the integration of the aviation sector into the EU Emissions Trading System and assisting on a feasibility study for a partially EU funded transport infrastructure project .
I have prepared preliminary advice for clients on a range of EU regulatory issues such as compliance with energy efficiency, food labelling legislation, requirements for car manufacturers and airlines operating within the EU, and in matters related to governments giving state aid to public authorities.
What do you most enjoy about what you do and are there any downsides? I like the fact I am required to learn about not just the law, but a variety of industries and sectors. The work is serious and important to the client, and thus I like the feeling of having a lot of responsibility. I like that law evolves and can never be fully mastered. In my current seat the interaction between law, economics, and politics is very apparent and fascinating.
The downside is thinking of the training contract as a two year interview – which I try not to do.
What strengths do you think you need to succeed? Drive, diligence, intelligence, and clarity of thought. Organisational skills. Interpersonal skills. Finally, a robust personality
What advice would you give graduates considering law as a career? Get as much practical experience as you can of the industry e.g. pro-bono, vacation schemes, work experience. Pick the firm that is right for you, which is why vacation schemes are all the more valuable.