On the 23rd of June, Samiya and I embarked on a journey to Abu Dhabi to undertake a work placement at White & Case, a well renowned, leading international corporate law firm. One of the senior partner and his wife, an associate at White & Case were kind enough to welcome us into their incredible house and were extremely hospitable and generous.  They took time out of their very busy schedule to show us around Abu Dhabi and prior to beginning our work placement, we had a packed weekend of sightseeing.   We explored Yas Island, discovered the malls, visited the Grand Mosque, Yas Water Park and even spent a day on the senior partner’s amazing boat and jet-ski. We also had dinner at Emirates Palace, an unbelievable opulent hotel. We experienced various cuisines in many popular and famous restaurants such as Zuma and BOA. It’s safe to say that we were spoilt for choice when it came to dinner time!

“We were treated not as 17 and 18 year olds, but well respected legal interns. I found myself working on Project Finance law and construction disputes, writing reports, analysing agreements and shadowing lawyers on their conference calls too.”

Following our week of adventure our insight into the work of an international law firm began. Walking in to the law firm, it was state of the art. The inclusive family like atmosphere and cordial welcome we received from the legal staff was unbelievable. The outstanding views of the ocean and skyscrapers from our office window was an added bonus. We were treated not as 17 and 18 year olds, but well respected legal interns. I found myself working on Project Finance law and construction disputes, writing reports, analysing agreements and shadowing lawyers on their conference calls too. Having never heard of Project Finance law before the placement, it is now a field of corporate law which I would seriously consider specialising in. It focuses on the legal framework of advising sponsors who seek to raise money for the implementation of a project which could be a power plant, the building of a bridge, development of a mine.  The work is so varied that I was also involved in advising lenders such as banks on the risks associated with lending money to sponsors and the overall feasibility of the project.

Samiya spent most of her time working in Capital Markets, covering ‘mergers and acquisitions’ and really getting to grips with corporate law at its core. She dealt with bonds and shares, whilst also analysing commercial agreements too. Not only did we experience high quality commercial/corporate work that was both challenging and relevant, we were given lectures from other solicitors in the firm specialising in areas such as real estate, corporate finance and employment.  This allowed us to have an appreciation of how the many different lawyers work together when advising clients on a multi-million dollar transaction.

We then spent the last weekend uncovering the rest of the striking landscape of Abu Dhabi. We visited Ferrari World, experiencing the fastest roller coaster in the world! The exotic islands of Abu Dhabi were breath taking, we explored Al Maryah Island, had a picnic on the senior partner’s boat, paired with a swim in the sea looking for dolphins. The lifestyle out in Abu Dhabi is one we both will never forget and hope to experience again one day.

“A massive thank you to the NCS for providing us with this once in a lifetime opportunity, we would wholeheartedly recommend it to all future students at the NCS – you will never experience a law work experience on par with this one!”

Samiya and I share the view that this work placement cemented our desire to pursue career in corporate law.  The number of networks/connections we made with existing lawyers, the skills we gained and the insight we had excites us to apply to White & Case in 4 years’ time for a training contract! A massive thank you to the NCS for providing us with this once in a lifetime opportunity, we would wholeheartedly recommend it to all future students at the NCS – you will never experience a law work experience on par with this one!

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