We have been fortunate enough to put YOUR questions to the team at Travers Smith, one of the UK’s leading independent City law firms.

The best questions submitted by students have been asked to the graduate recruitment team to help you gain a greater insight in to this extremely exciting and growing law firm. This is a fantastic opportunity to get a real insight!


Meet the Graduate Recruitment Team

Foster_Anthony_TEMPLATES-15x15mm[1]Van Geyzel_Germaine_TEMPLATES-15x15mm (3)[1]Reavill_Dan_TEMPLATES-15x15mm[2]




The answers to the your questions have been answered by the experts above from the graduate recruitment team at Travers Smith

(Left) Anthony Foster – Graduate Recruitment Partner

(Centre) Germaine VanGeyzel – Graduate Recruitment Manager

(Right) Dan Reavill – Graduate Recruitment Partner


CV and Application Advice

Do law firms like to see non-legal based activities on CVs as well as legal work experience,and why is this?

– De Montfort University Student Law Society, via Facebook

Germaine VanGeyzel: Yes. Active voluntary work, pro bono or part time work in a restaurant, shop etc can demonstrate your ability to handle substantial responsibilities alongside your studies and helps demonstrate teamwork and leadership skills.  It is important to show worthwhile skills like commercial awareness and an ability to deal with the public!


What would a firm expect to see regarding legal working experience that would make that particular CV stand out from the rest?

– De Montfort University Student Law Society, via Facebook

Germaine VanGeyzel: It is about showing your motivation to work in law, so attending open days, insight days, mini pupillages etc all helps. We look for students that can show that they have work experience that can transfer to a legal setting.  Demonstrating exposure to clients and working in a high-pressure environment will make your CV stand out! Informal legal experience such as shadowing or spending time in a local solicitor firm is useful, as it shows commitment.


How much consideration do law firms give University grades regarding a training contract – and does this differ depending on which University you attend?

– De Montfort University Student Law Society, via Facebook

Germain VanGeyzel: We consider every application from any University but we are looking for people with a proven academic track record and who meet our minimum criteria.


If a student had performed badly during their A levels, but they managed to show a keen interest for law through graduating with a first class honours and acquired plenty of work experience for their CV, would their A levels grades hold them back significantly for a city firm?

– De Montfort University Student Law Society, via Facebook

Germaine VanGeyzel: No, if the candidate has shown academic excellence during their degree we would certainly be happy to process the application.



Working life at Travers Smith

Is there such thing as a standard day in the life of a lawyer, if so, what does it look like?

– St Andrews Economics Society, via Email

Dan Reavill: One of the most rewarding aspects of the job is that there is most definitely not a standard day. At a firm like Travers Smith it is likely that no two days will ever be the same. This is a reflection of the sheer breadth of our client base as well as the complex and often bespoke nature of the work which we’re asked to undertake. If you want a ‘normal’, predictable job then this isn’t going to be for you!


How team-based is the nature of your work?

– St Andrews Economics Society, via Email

Dan Reavill: The vast majority of the client work which we undertake is carried out in teams. It’s very rare for work to be done by just one person. What is particularly enjoyable is that, at any one time, you are likely to be working in a number of teams, because each different matter will have different people working on it. Often those teams are cross-departmental, so there is a huge amount of interaction between different practice groups.


Is there a social aspect for trainees at Travers Smith?

– UCL Careers, via Phone call

Germaine VanGeyzel: Absolutely, there are general social and sporting events arranged by various people around the firm. For example, there are sporting teams for hockey, football and netball as well as a firm choir.  There are pro bono opportunities, charity events as well as departmental and firm wide social events.


If I were to struggle to get understanding of the work, would there be senior member of staff available to contact?

– Nottingham Economics and Finance Commity, via Facebook

Dan Reavill: Senior members of staff are always available for advice and assistance because of the way that we’re set up internally. Every trainee will share a room with a partner and at least two associates, so help is always at hand.


How much contact do you have with clients when on a training contract?

– Kent Law Society, via Email

Dan Reavill: It varies from matter to matter, but on the whole we expect (and want) our trainees to have an active, direct relationship with clients from day one. Generally speaking trainees are not viewed any differently to associates in this regard.


How would you describe the atmosphere around the office?

– Nottingham Economics and Finance Committee, via Facebook

Anthony Foster: Collegiate, inclusive and friendly, which helps everyone to handle the intensity and pressure under which people often work.


How does Travers Smith support the individual development, personal as well as professional, of their employees?

– St Andrews Economics Society, via Email

Anthony Foster: With senior lawyers sharing rooms with more junior lawyers, there is an environment of natural support from those with more experience.  Sharing rooms breaks down any hierarchy that might otherwise exist, which results in a collegiate and supportive atmosphere in which people can develop, with support where needed, both professionally and personally.


Have you increased your graduate intakes over the years?

– Nottingham Economics and Finance, via Facebook

Dan Reavill: Not for a while, but we’re likely to do so in the near future.



What does Travers Smith look for?

What are the best things a non-law student could do at University, other than joining the law society, to make themselves appealing to law firms?

– St Andrews Economics Society, via Email

Germaine VanGeyzel: It is essential to demonstrate a commitment to law and especially to the type of law you want to practise. We are looking for evidence of balancing university commitments with extra curricular activities, so involvement with committees and being in a team are important.


Are there any certain qualifications you might recommend outside of Law that could be worth achieving?

– Surrey Law Society, via Facebook

Anthony Foster: Not particularly, no; where candidates do have any other qualifications it is clearly something we are interested in, to understand why they took the course and what they got out of it. But that is not to say it counts against anyone if they have ‘only’ a BA and the necessary legal qualifications.


Is a candidate at a disadvantage if he or she takes a year out travelling after graduating and applies the following year?

– UCL Law Society, via Facebook

Dan Reavill: Not at all. Provided that the individual in question is suitably enthusiastic about their travelling experience and provided that they can demonstrate that it was rewarding and enjoyable, it is likely to be viewed very favourably.


How much legal work experience is required to be considered?

– Bristol Uni Careers, via Phone call

Germaine VanGeyzel: It doesn’t have to be particularly legal work experience, we like to see any work experience which is relevant.


Is there an advantage for graduates who speak more then one language?

– Glasgow Law, via Facebook

Dan Reavill: Speaking a foreign language will always be useful, given the international nature of the work we do and given the importance of our relationships with the leading independent firms around the world. Having said that, speaking a foreign language is by no means a pre-requisite.




Does Travers Smith sound like the sort of law firm you would want to work for? If so, then make sure you apply for the firm’s Training Contract role, which is open right now.

If you want to find out more about the exciting opportunities offered by Travers Smith then take a look at its firm website for more information.