Training Partner, Graham Winkley - Our Stories

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Graham Winkley

Training Partner

Graham Winkley, Residential Property Partner, Boodle Hatfield

Graham is a Partner in the property department and the Training Partner


What is the role of the Training Partner?
As the Training Partner I am heavily involved in the graduate recruitment process. I also spend time getting to know the trainees over the course of the two years and can act as a sounding board if any of them want to discuss specific issues with me. I’ve been a trainee myself and so understand the pressures that can sometimes build up, and I believe that from time to time a trainee can really value the opportunity to talk through the challenges they are facing with someone independent.

What do you enjoy about your involvement in the firm’s graduate recruitment programme?
We are very lucky and get applications from some very talented people which means that at the interviews I get the opportunity to talk to a wide range of people, to see what motivates them and to have the chance to discuss a whole range of topics with them. I have had some fascinating discussions over the last few years and it is very exciting for me to be involved in finding people who are the future of our firm.

What do you look for at the interview?
The trainees have an interview with HR and another interview with two partners. It goes without saying that we are looking for people who are bright, articulate and confident. In particular we are looking for people who have the ability to engage, put forward a compelling argument and maintain their viewpoint, but be able to see both sides of the debate. Additionally, we are looking for people who are interested in the world around them and understand why they want to be a lawyer. There is not a typical Boodle Hatfield trainee – we select those who come from a wide range of backgrounds and have differing attributes – perhaps what they all have in common though is that they have agile minds and can engage with people and have a sense of humour.

Any interview tips?
We screen approximately 600- 650 applications each year for four places so if you are invited to have an interview then you have already done exceedingly well.

We have therefore already seen something in your application form which makes us feel that you would be a good candidate so the interview is about exploring that further. We are not there to catch you out. There are no deliberately horrible questions and no tricks. We are interested in finding out about what you are really like, what interests you and whether you are the type of person that we feel would engage well with our staff and our clients. Therefore, my main tip would be to be yourself in the interview.

Our interview process is designed to bring out the best in people. Therefore, the most important thing is to relax and try to enjoy the interview, be happy to discuss your application form, and be prepared to debate topical issues.

In your view, why would a trainee decide to join Boodle Hatfield?
In essence, I believe that our trainees get good quality work, are made to feel part of each team they work in, are respected by their colleagues and would be joining a firm with a positive culture. We take our client work seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously and like to have fun!