Bird & Bird: Diversity Case Study
We caught up with an inspiring individual who overcame adversity to take part in the Bird & Bird Bursary Programme and subsequently land a training contract at the firm. Keep reading to find out more!
So, tell us a little bit about your background.
Many people think that growing up in a tough area or having an underprivileged background “isn’t so bad”, or maybe is something that is easy to break out of. Throughout my education I have encountered students who have had no intention and more importantly no knowledge of what they could achieve or even what life would be like as a ‘city slicker’ with a top job. Sometimes it is the combination of psychological, social and financial barriers that prohibit amazing talent from achieving their full potential.
What prompted you to apply for the Bird & Bird Bursary Scheme?
I decided to apply for Bird & Bird’s bursary scheme because I saw a firm that had a clearly thought-out strategy for diversity, a chance to prove I could be what society said I couldn’t be, an opening that could make what I was striving for possible and an opportunity to contribute to a profession I loved.
How has the Bird & Bird Bursary Scheme helped you?
From the beginning I was made to feel comfortable in what was, at the time, a foreign environment and attended a relaxed interview which primarily focused on getting the best out of my answers and to learn about me as a person. After being accepted for the scheme I was given financial support, this proved to be a huge help in buying my required law books, purchasing a laptop (which is still going strong till this day), and contributing to other vital monetary needs that are essential for University life. Bird & Bird also allocated a trainee buddy from the firm to me who I still keep in contact with when any questions arise during University or when I just want to talk on a chilled friendship level. What students do not need to be is patronised or belittled, and from my experience with Bird & Bird I have found a firm that is genuinely interested in helping me, not only to realise, but accomplish my dream to become a city lawyer. The firm has displayed a rich interest in my own development delivering skills-based workshops and exposing me to the legal working environment for the first time on their summer vacation scheme.
Tell us a bit more about the Bird & Bird Summer Vacation Placement.
The summer placement was very practical and I soon found myself immersed in work, often equivalent to that of trainees, from different departments of the firm and was surrounded by sincere, friendly and supportive colleagues.
Can you describe the moment you were offered that all-important training contract at Bird & Bird?
I cannot fully remember the phone call I received from Bird & Bird offering me a training contract. All I remember is shock, disbelief, wide eyes, shivers and a feeling of total humility to have been given the contract. I am currently on exchange in the University of Hong Kong and will be starting at Bird & Bird in 2017. I have been so blessed to have had this opportunity granted by Bird & Bird and for any aspiring solicitors reading this I urge you to never give up on your goals but to pursue them, take every constructive opportunity that comes your way and consider not only the present, but also your future in everything you do.