The First Year Workshop overall was an immersive experience into what working at Herbert Smith Freehills is like. Through the interactive Alternative Dispute Resolution Workshop and Corporate Case Study, I was able to learn more about the work the firm takes part in, and the role of trainees.
During our 2 day scheme, we participated in many activities that facilitated our understanding of the work, people, and ethos of HSF. From networking with trainees and partners, to completing a dynamic negotiations exercise, we developed the skills that are fundamental for trainee solicitors. Moreover, there were plenty of socialising activities (such as a fun chocolate making workshop!) that allowed all of the participants to collaborate and network with each other.
The scheme involved talks from Partners, Senior Associates, Associates and Trainees about the work done by Herbert Smith Freehills, both in terms of recent deals (case studies), pro bono and innovation within the tech sphere. There were opportunities for networking through a trainee session and a careers fair. There was also an interactive ADR workshop where we could meet fellow attendees (virtually) and a chocolate-making social. Finally, there was an application skills workshop.
The 2-day workshop included insights into the different practice areas, in particular the dispute group, which introduced us to the firm's involvement in the UK Supreme Court Prorogation Ruling in 2019. Additionally, we took part in an ADR workshop as well as in sessions in which we were able to network with the trainees. Finally, for the social activity, we enjoyed a Chocolate- Making session.
Over the two-day workshop, we heard from representatives from various practice areas of the firm. These included disputes and corporate case studies; introductions to the firm's advocacy, pro bono, and Digital Law groups; and a careers fair. We also had the opportunity to participate in a mock negotiation exercise to learn more about alternative dispute resolution. This, along with the networking sessions, kept the workshop very interactive despite the virtual format. At the end of day two, we were given some applications advice and tips for the case study interview.
The day involved attending various talks on different aspects of the firm from digital communications to alternative dispute resolution. We had the opportunity to network with different solicitors at the firm to further understand the various practice areas. We took part in a negotiation session where we undertook the role of solicitors settling a dispute for our client.
On the two-day insight scheme we were given a look into the various practices of the firm, with a chance to look deeper at cases worked on by associates and trainees. This was a good way to understand what role a trainee plays at the firm and how involved they are in key matters. The ADR workshop was particularly enjoyable as it gave me an opportunity to apply my negotiation skills to a practical setting. The second day offered another chance for networking but focused on ways to create a good application for the vacation schemes we apply to, next academic year.
There were a variety of different presentations, workshops and networking opportunities each day. For example, the first day included a presentation based on a high-profile disputes case, a presentation on the advocacy group of the firm, an alternative disputes resolution workshop and a networking event with solicitors from different departments. This gave a great insight into the firm as lots of information was provided about the work carried out in various departments and the typical work and responsibilities taken on by trainee solicitors.
Across the two days, we had case studies regarding corporate and disputes, talks about technology and application advice, networking with people at the firm and a mock mediation exercise. For this we split up into two teams and had to pitch our ideas as to what our client would want and then negotiate with the other side until we reached a settlement. We also had a virtual chocolate making class as part of a social at the end of day 1.
Insight into the practice areas and culture at the law firm. Opportunity to speak to Partners and Trainees alike, learn about Digital Transformation, take part in workshops on dispute resolution and commercial negotiation, and take part in practice area careers fairs and trainee networking.
The experience was a two-day scheme. We had talks on topics such as: an overview of the firm, disputes, advocacy, pro-bono work, and case studies. We also had interactive sessions such as an ADR workshop and networking sessions with both trainees and various practice groups.
The two days consisted of a series of engaging talks from partners and associates from key practice areas of the firm including Disputes, and Corporate. We heard from graduate recruitment how to create a competitive application to HSF. I also got the opportunity to collaborate with fellow attendees by working on behalf of a fictional client in an Alternative Dispute Resolution task.