Two months into her training contract and Eve Cornwell reveals what magic circle trainee life is like

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Busy rush hour commutes, free breakfast, two mobile phones and getting to grips with time recording

Credit: Eve Cornwell (YouTube)

Legal YouTube star Eve Cornwell is back from her eight-week long “social media detox” and has dropped a vlog to update her subscribers on what trainee life is like two months into her magic circle training contract.

“It’s been very fast-paced, very intense, a lot of things have happened,” summarises Bristol law grad Cornwell in the ten-minute long clip (embedded below), ‘What they don’t tell you about becoming a lawyer’, which was uploaded to the vlogger’s YouTube channel yesterday.

Busy rush hour commutes, free breakfast, two mobile phones (one for work the other for play) and getting to grips with the “interesting” concept of time recording are just some of the key takeaways from Cornwell’s very candid clip.

On the latter, she admits, “I didn’t even know the extent to which this occurred when I was a law student”, and a few weeks prior to starting her TC in September, “how much [time recording] would affect my life”.

She continues to give viewers a brief explainer on the concept (which, of course, involves coffee) — “If I were spending time on a task but I [then wanted to] grab a coffee I would have to stop the timer, get a coffee, come back and start the timer again… You need to log exactly what you’re doing at all times.” Commercially-minded Cornwell is known for her commitment to all things coffee having launched her own brand, Millennial Coffee Club, in the summer.

Earlier this year fellow YouTube star and Irwin Mitchell solicitor Chrissie Wolfe released a short vlog about time recording, describing it as “the greatest culture shock of becoming a lawyer”.

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Spotlight back on Cornwell and the budding solicitor goes on to explain how she is adjusting to her first desk job. “I don’t move around much anymore… I’m sitting in one seat for the whole day and the only walking I currently do is to the kitchen and back,” she says. For coffee refills, we bet!

In what may come as a surprise to some of our readers, Cornwell comments on the “chill” vibe at elite City outfit Linklaters, the law firm at which she is completing her training. “I’ve realised legal environments are actually a lot more casual than you expect — obviously that differs from firm to firm — but they are, kind of, more laid back than you think. You don’t have to be in full suit or formal business wear all of the time. Catch me with my business dress and my Air Force Nikes!” she quips.

A final observation the vlogger makes is not to “freak out about every single grade because no one will ever ask you your grades ever again”.

Cornwell regularly keeps her fans updated on her legal exploits (including her first day at Links) through her popular YouTube channel which has amassed a dedicated following of 238,000 subscribers and over 16 million views.

On Tuesday she took to Instagram to explain her absence from vlogging and social media: “I’ve quickly realised that this job, as a trainee solicitor, expects a lot from you. it’s not a 9-5 job, it’s an *intense* lifestyle and profession,” she wrote.

View this post on Instagram

hello, big life update 😎 . the past 7 weeks have been a crazy transition for me. mentally more than anything, it’s really strange to change from a student lifestyle to a working week. anyone starting a grad job will relate, but especially as a ~creative brain~ i’ve struggled with having less time to work on my youtube content, graphic design and social media. i’ve quickly realised that this job, as a trainee solicitor, expects a lot from you. it’s not a 9-5 job, it’s an *intense* lifestyle and profession – and any law students applying for training contracts should definitely be aware of that ⚡️ but equally, i feel like i’ve learnt more in my 7 weeks here than i’ve ever done before. it’s actually quite mind blowing ?? i’ve been to court, spoken to clients, and i feel like i’m being trained to be a *proper* lawyer (lol) . this period of social media detox has been really special for me 🥺 it’s allowed me to work through this transition as ~eve~, without feeling like there’s an audience to present a version of my life to. it’s also been a huge wake up call. i’ve reconnected with my long-term goals, i’ve figured out what makes me happy and gained a close core group of friends around me 🥰 . my life is still changing so much 🥺 and I can’t wait to share parts of this new chapter with you all. my brain is finally feeling creative and *tingly* again, so i think it’s time to charge the vlog camera 😏 lots of luv 🤟🏻😛

A post shared by Eve Cornwell (@evecornwell) on

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Caught between finding her annoying and a breath of fresh air. On balance, good luck to her. Linklaters (and law more generally) need people like her prepared to challenge the status quo.



How is she challenging the status quo? This has burn out written all over it.


Reality Check

How exactly is she challenging the status quo…?

If anything she’s entrenching the status quo as she quite often sends the wrong message to her viewers such as “don’t stress over every grade!” or “self-funding the LPC is not a stupid idea!”, which will no doubt inspire some starry-eyed student to do law at a mediocre uni, get mediocre results, and believe they will still end up at a top firm. Hence, status quo.

It’d be much more useful if she actually explained commercial law for what it really is – an incredible career that will give you, first and foremost, oodles and oodles of cash, fairly good professional stability, virtually unparalleled opportunities to progress or exit, and a social brag factor that is second to none; but also, a career which will require, at least if you want to be at the top of the market – and why bother going anywhere else honestly – a years-long (both pre-uni and uni) commitment to stellar grades, excellent extra-curricular activities, and a poor social life, with absolutely no guarantee that any of it will pay off in the cut-throat competition that is commercial law, and, should you succeed in getting a gold dust TC with a top firm, a massive time commitment throughout your early 20s and beyond full of cancelled plans, allnighters at the office, and a bunch of asskissing.

But that message wouldn’t be too palatable to her “millennial coffee club” audience, now would it?


Reality check on reality check

I agree with some of this but you’re over-egging it a bit. The ‘no social life, commitment to stellar grades’ etc might be true if you aren’t naturally that bright, but realistically a 2.1 at a good university and some interesting extra curricular stuff (which obviously can also be part of your social life) is generally enough for a good firm.

Past that it’s about your interview performance and written application. Most law students, just like all students, have plenty of time to go out and have fun.

Top firsts at Oxford are for barristers. Good solicitors need a 2.1 at Bristol or somewhere similar.


Reality CEO

Just because many solicitors at top firms have a 2.1 from Bristol doesn’t mean many Bristol 2.1s get to become solicitors at top firms.

Getting a 1st, doing vac schemes, being president of a society, getting a scholarship, studying abroad (eg for an LLM) are what gets you invited to an interview, alongside a good application, of course. Past that I agree – it’s all about interview performance, and this is where a Bristol grad and an Oxbridge grad are virtually on equal footing. Their fate is now in their hands and it comes down to the interview, AC, commercial exercise, or what have you. But just getting invited to an interview is 80% of the battle, and all of the above – which WILL take a heavy toll on your social life no matter how you slice it – will undoubtedly increase your chances of getting invited in the first place.


Blah blah blah

Blah blah blah blah been doing this for a few months, my opinion is important blah blah blah blah



Cue the ever-expanding gaps between the sweet but childlike posts as she slowly descends into a real city career


City Lawyer

“If I were spending time on a task but I [then wanted to] grab a coffee I would have to stop the timer, get a coffee, come back and start the timer again… You need to log exactly what you’re doing at all times”

Lol, so says the newbie. I give it one financial year a quick “chat” with your supervisor about your utilisation before this changes.



Yes agree! I worked for a top 10 firm and the time recording policy was tattooed to us. Getting a coffee and going to the toilet didn’t require the clock to be stopped!!!


Targets? Completed it

Don’t see any reason why not to put a couple units down for journey to and from the office. As long as it culminates in value, and the client is taking up your head-space, its chargeable in my book.



It’s all chargeable. You wouldn’t be going into work if it wasn’t for the client. Might as well add 5-7 hours of units if you sleep overnight after working for one client.




Get with the programme grandad


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