Tim Meade

Trainee secondment to Paul, Weiss

Beyond the famous landmarks, monuments, memorials and museums that embody the city’s impressive history and continued international significance, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I touched town in Washington. I was, in fact, greeted by a "polar vortex" (a large-scale cyclone) and a city in shutdown – the first of the many surprises that have made living and working here such an interesting experience. Behind the "House of Cards" façade, Washington has a vibrant and dynamic character.

My working days start with a stroll past the White House, often enlivened by the passing of a presidential motorcade. My host firm Paul, Weiss has a relatively small office in D.C., but my colleagues have been extremely welcoming and unfailingly helpful in acclimatising me to living and working in the States. The office has a litigation focus and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of working on a number of cases involving the characteristically American practices of class-action suits and depositions – one of which is likely to take me to New York in the near future.

The city has a great food scene, with Southern cuisine a particular specialty of several of its many distinct neighbourhoods. Shrimp and grits are staples on every menu and you’ll find some excellent ribs if you look hard enough. Washington also boasts a number of Major League sports teams, and I’ve already been to my first basketball, baseball and ice hockey games.

Washington is well located for weekend breaks to other East Coast cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, as well as for travel to the South.  I recently did a road trip around Virginia and went to a NASCAR race in Richmond and I’m hoping to venture further west during my remaining time here.