Tom Grogan

Trainee Solicitor at Allen & Overy LLP

What is your current role?

I am a Trainee Solicitor in Allen & Overy LLP’s London office. I am currently in my second seat, Banking (general lending and real estate finance), following an enjoyable first seat in Corporate (financial institutions group).

What attracted you to this career?

I really enjoyed Contract Law during my first year at Lancaster University – the lecturer made everything relevant and interesting and I found myself increasingly drawn to the more commercial modules when picking my second and third year electives. I find law most interesting when it interacts with economic, political and social landscapes. I find the wider ramifications of law making and transactions to be much more interesting that the law making and transaction when taken in isolation – which I confess, I find quite dull!

Being a part of a huge, successful firm like A&O is a perfect fit for me – having a front seat (and, occasionally, the steering wheel) for some really significant transactions which transcend the legal profession is both exciting and gratifying. I was fortunate that, in my second year at Lancaster, the Careers Officer of the Law Society was very on top of things. He kept talking about vacation schemes so I thought I should apply. I did, I got a couple of placements and eventually secured training contract offers. The rest took care of itself!

In what ways did Lancaster prepare you for this career?

I felt I grew as a person during my time at Lancaster. The first of my family to go to university, I quickly found that I found the academic side of things stimulating and that, from a commercial point of view, I ‘got it’. The small, friendly atmosphere of the Law School meant that it was easy to develop relationships with the faculty and that doors were always open if I had questions or concerns. This really improved my confidence and meant that I was not afraid to apply to the biggest and most prestigious graduate employers.

The Law Society and Innocence Project were both excellent – developing my confidence talking to professionals and clients. I would urge everyone that aspires to a good job after graduation to throw themselves into something whilst at university. Any society or sport looks great on a CV and at Lancaster you are spoilt for choice. If nothing takes your fancy, create something that does. Within reason.

I am always happy to hear from anyone at Lancaster that is thinking of post-university life and who would appreciate some advice or guidance.

What are your future career plans and how do you hope to progress?

I am really enjoying my time at A&O and intend on progressing as much as I can over the next few years. The personal and professional development that their training offers is second to none and I am confident it will serve me well, beyond my legal career.

I have always had ambitions to run my own business(es). I am currently exploring a couple of opportunities and I find new ideas really exciting and inspiring. I think the best way of going about this is to continue with the path started at Lancaster – see potential, back myself and don’t hesitate to chuck my hat in the ring!