My DiversCity Experience – Gowling WLG Future Trainee

My name is Oliverollie Rowlands (2) Rowlands and I have just secured a Training Contract with Gowling WLG to start in 2019.  After graduating from the University of Liverpool I decided to start my LPC and Masters course at the University of Law Moorgate, alongside searching for the perfect firm.  After going through the inevitable stages of rejection, I knew I wanted to find a firm that shared my common values and would be a great place to work.

I found the DiversCity event online and it seemed like the perfect opportunity.  As a gay man, it was great to see that the event was supported by so many firms.  Suffice to say, the event exceeded my expectations!  The day started with coffee and a short meet and greet with firm representatives.  I had the opportunity to meet LGBTQ+ people in the legal industry and gain an insight into what working life is like in the City.  Next, we had talks and an open panel discussion from Solicitors and Trainees sharing their stories and experiences.  Having never attended an LGBTQ+ event before, I found it both inspiring and motivating.  The day also consisted of workshops where you would gain insightful knowledge into how to approach applications and more general sessions on commercial awareness.  Finally the day finished with a fun networking drinks event where we had the opportunity to meet with students and firm representatives.

For me personally, attending DiversCity was crucial in my search for, and eventually securing, my Training Contract.  Before the event I was already really interested in Gowling WLG, but after meeting Graduate Recruitment and finding out more about the firm, I knew I wanted to become part of their team.  The support from the DiversCity network extends beyond the day itself.  Attendees have the option to join the Mentoring Scheme.  I would urge any student to take this opportunity if they can, as the help I received was incredible.  I was partnered with Daniel from White & Case and he helped me with applications, general advice and even mock interviews.  We would meet once a week to go through my CV and applications and together, discussing how to improve them.  The Mentoring Scheme was so helpful and I am grateful to the DiversCity event organisers for the providing such an invaluable opportunity.

Overall my experience at the DiversCity event was incredible.  If you are member of the LBGTQ+ society and want to meet like-minded students going through the same journey to enter the legal profession, I cannot recommend this event enough.  The day illustrated how firms are doing all that they can to ensure that diversity is at the forefront and this extends to all aspect of their business.  The day inspired and motivated me to work even harder to achieve my goals.  Most importantly, the event was the stepping stone for me to meet my dream firm where I will start my legal career.

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