01 November 2023

This article was written by Rosie Collier.

Rosie Collier is a future trainee solicitor joining the firm in 2025 and secured a training contract after participating in the 2022 Winter vacation scheme.

In this piece, Rosie tells us about her experience with the firm’s community partner, IntoUniversity. Rosie also shares some insights about her experience applying to the firm for a training contract.

1. You’ve been involved with IntoUniversity since 2017. What inspired you to join?

IntoUniversity’s commitment to empowering young minds and encouraging social mobility inspired me to become a part of their community, first as a student participant in 2017, and then as a volunteer mentor in 2020. 

As a student participant, I experienced first-hand the positive impact of IntoUniversity’s programs. The support I received played a pivotal role in shaping both my educational and career aspirations. In 2020, the year I began my degree at the University of Bristol, I was invited to rejoin IntoUniversity, this time as a volunteer mentor. I wanted to contribute to the organisation’s cause and help other young individuals discover their full potential, just as I had. Education has the power to transform lives, and I strongly believe that every child, regardless of their background, deserves an equal opportunity to succeed. 

My journey with IntoUniversity has been incredibly rewarding, and I continue to be inspired by the dedication of the staff, the resilience of the students, and the positive impact the organisation brings to communities in Bristol and beyond.

2. How has this supported your academic and personal growth?

Before my experience with IntoUniversity, I had never planned to apply to University. I was eager to begin my career as soon as possible after leaving sixth form, whether through an apprenticeship route or similar. In terms of my academic growth, IntoUniversity played a transformative role by helping me to instil confidence and self-belief in my academic abilities. Through their programmes, I not only discovered my passion for law but also acquired the necessary skills I needed in order to pursue this career path. 

In terms of my personal growth, volunteering with the charity has been instrumental in the development of essential interpersonal skills. As a mentor, I learned the value of active listening and understanding individual needs, enabling me to foster my ability to connect with people from diverse backgrounds. These skills have proven invaluable in my personal relationships and will undoubtedly serve me well in my future legal career.

3. Please talk us through the key IntoUniversity programmes you have undertaken, including if this led to taking part in any volunteering roles supporting the charity?

One of the standout programs I participated in was a corporate industry event, which involved a careers fair and panel with some incredibly inspirational professionals from diverse backgrounds. This event was a unique opportunity to interact with some of the most prominent companies and industries in the UK, including law, investment banking, accountancy and consultancy. Engaging with professionals from diverse sectors and backgrounds provided me with valuable insights into various career paths, enabling me to make informed choices about my own future.

Additionally, I also had the opportunity to visit several Russel-group university campuses. Exploring these campuses not only fueled my own educational aspirations but also allowed me to share this knowledge with students I later mentored.

Lastly, as briefly mentioned above, I became an academic mentor volunteer when I began my degree. During this time, I worked closely with secondary school students, supporting them with their academic, personal and future career aspirations. The students I mentored were ambitious, driven and determined; during our sessions, we often worked on academic tutoring, developing study methods for GCSE and A-Level exams, as well as looking ahead to their own applications to university. 

4. What drew you to applying to Burges Salmon for a training contract?

Through IntoUniversity, I also had the opportunity to take part in the Social Mobility Business Partnership. This was organised in collaboration with Burges Salmon, and incidentally was my first experience with the firm. This week of work experience entailed visiting the legal departments of various companies and gaining an insight into the many diverse sectors within the legal profession. This exposure was critical in shaping my career aspirations. It not only reaffirmed my passion for law but also solidified my choice of Burges Salmon as the ideal firm for my professional journey. During this time, I witnessed firsthand the firm’s commitment to championing students like myself from socially mobile backgrounds, as well as the community-driven nature of the solicitors I met during this time. 

Ultimately, this initial interaction illuminated Burges Salmon's commitment to championing social mobility and community-driven initiatives, aligning with my own values.

5. Can you tell us a bit about your time on the vacation scheme and one of your highlights from the week?

Absolutely - I was part of the Winter 2023 vacation scheme cohort, and my week was spent in the Corporate department. One of the highlights from my week was the opportunity to work on a complex corporate governance transaction under the guidance of my supervisor. The project was in its very first stages of development at the time, and it was really interesting to observe first-hand how corporate projects come to fruition, especially in regard to renewable energy. This was a hands-on experience that allowed me to apply my background in politics and social policy in a real-world context. I was involved in drafting legal documents and participating in client meetings which not only allowed me to hone my legal skills but also gave me a glimpse into the work of corporate governance solicitors.

Throughout the week, we were also given the opportunity to attend a series of talks from trainee solicitors, as well as partners, on the different sectors Burges Salmon operates. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about FinTech as well as many of the departments in the firm, several of which I am looking forward to working in during my training contract. 

6. What piece of advice would you give to those interested in applying to Burges Salmon?

For those interested in applying to Burges Salmon, I would encourage you to thoroughly research, understand and embrace the firm’s culture. From my experiences with the firm and its solicitors, it stands alone in terms of its friendly and supportive environment. Additionally, I would recommend applicants to showcase their authentic selves throughout the application process. Be genuine in your motivations, experiences, and aspirations. Burges Salmon values not just academic achievements but also the qualities that make you unique. Highlight your passions, your volunteer work, and any experiences that have helped to shape your worldview. Demonstrating a well-rounded personality and a genuine enthusiasm for the legal profession is paramount.

Applying to Burges Salmon is not just a process; it represents a unique opportunity to align your personal values with a professional environment deeply committed to upholding these very beliefs. 

7. What is the one thing you are most looking forward to upon joining the firm?

The one thing I am most looking forward to upon joining the firm is the opportunity to have a significant impact, not just in my legal career, but also within the community. In addition to the opportunity to gain exposure across up to six different departments at Burges Salmon, I am particularly looking forward to continuing to champion social mobility through engaging with the firm’s charitable partners.

Engaging in these initiatives not only resonates deeply with my personal values but also mirrors Burges Salmon's dedication to creating a positive societal impact. I firmly believe that my active participation in these opportunities will not only facilitate my own personal and professional development but also enable me to connect with the firm's commitment to community-driven initiatives.

Key contact

Headshot of Penny Bowring

Penny Bowring Resourcing Specialist

Legal Resourcing

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