Roxane is a third-seat Trainee currently sitting in Tax, having previously sat in Corporate Reorganisations and Employment. Roxane studied Law at the University of Bristol.
Why did you choose to apply to Baker McKenzie?
The quality of the work at the firm was something that stood out, which was shown through its client list and awards, as well as the breadth of the practice areas which the firm covers, ranging from IPTech, Employment, and Disputes to Banking and Corporate. What also appealed to me was the international nature of work and the opportunity to develop and progress in an international context, working with clients from all around the world and collaborating with lawyers in different jurisdictions. The opportunities for international secondments across a wide range of offices was a big selling point. Ultimately, I was drawn to Baker McKenzie because of the people I met. Everyone was always willing to answer my questions and I was able to see the firm’s collaborative culture first-hand. Working in a supportive and friendly team was something that was important to me.
Are Trainees given a lot of responsibility? What is the quality of work like?
Trainees are treated as a valued member of the team from day one and this means you are given the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to more interesting parts of any given matter. You are actively encouraged to take ownership of any project you are working on. That’s not to say that you won’t be supported throughout or able to ask questions, but colleagues really trust you to run with stuff from the get-go and there’s an expectation that you’ll be able to handle smaller tasks on your own. The work I have done so far has been of really high quality and incredibly varied. I have been able to draft advice notes, prepare instructions to counsel, attend board meetings, and coordinate a number of projects with foreign counsel. On any given project, I am also usually working with a number of different offices at once and working with colleagues from all over the world, in countries like Argentina, Belgium, or Japan. I can’t imagine there are many other firms where you can get that kind of exposure, particularly so early on in your training.
How would you describe the culture at Baker McKenzie?
Everyone is really supportive and friendly. Even during the past few months, when everyone had to adjust to working from home, my department set up weekly video calls to discuss any work issues, share any funny stories or chat about weekend plans. It’s a firm full of approachable people with an open-door policy, where people are always happy to help you and answer any questions, regardless of how busy they are. The firm’s strong focus on diversity and inclusion also filters through to its culture and it’s always felt like an environment where you can succeed regardless of your background. It’s something people at the firm are truly passionate about. The firm also has a number of social events and sports teams that you can get involved with, like netball and rugby. The Christmas and summer parties are usually the annual social highlights!
What’s been the highlight of your time at the Firm so far?
A highlight of my Trainee life so far was during my second seat in Employment when I worked on an age discrimination claim. This involved preparing for a tribunal hearing and drafting letters to the claimant during negotiation discussions. As part of this, I was able to attend the case strategy meetings and a tribunal preliminary hearing with the other solicitors and barristers. Although the client ended up settling in the end, I learned a great deal about how tribunal proceedings are conducted and was able to take an active role in legal research and case strategy, which was really exciting.
Roxane Kilic is a Trainee at Baker McKenzie.