Some lawyers at U.S. law firms tend to reject the notion that it’s any different to the magic circle; I don’t think that’s true at all. I imagine the hours aren’t too different but you’re completely right that there’s often less of us to handle a deal. What that means is very often I’m liaising with a more senior lawyer on the other side. I get a lot of responsibility and that’s scary; it’s less learning by formal training and more let’s throw you in the river and let you swim (though thankfully if you start to drown there’s a lifeguard outside). That said I love it – I think that it’s a terrific way to learn and once you go through that you come out as a formidable lawyer.

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