The vacation scheme was thoroughly enjoyable and challenging. The chance to undertake 'real' work was a real benefit and allowed me to have a genuine insight into the life of a solicitor at Shoosmiths. The informal parts of the week were also relaxed and enjoyable. The people at Shoosmiths took steps to ensure that I truly enjoyed the vacation scheme.
Despite the vacation scheme was only a week long, I was treated just like any other member of staff at the firm. My presence was not seen as a burden upon anybody and people went out of their way to ensure I didn't have any problems. There was constant dialogue with staff at all levels around the office and at other offices.
My supervisor was excellent and being sat right next to her was extremely beneficial. Any question I had (no matter how stupid) was answered and she would often drop everything she was working on to help me out. Other people around the firm were the same, everybody was happy to help if I asked and many would check on me throughout the day to ensure all was well.
The amount of information I picked up within the short period was surprising. My knowledge about the practical side of the law developed massively and allowed me to know in my mind that being a solicitor was certainly my ambition. Furthermore, my enjoyment at Shoosmiths gave me the clear indication that I wanted to go further at the firm and apply for a training contract.
There was a great mix between 'real' work for my supervisor / other lawyers around the office and fictional scenarios that would make up an 'assessment' for Graduate Recruitment to go through and give feedback. There were deadlines throughout the week for this 'mini-project' that culminated in a presentation to a panel of lawyers on the final afternoon. The clear structure of this mini-project ensured that I could plan my time effectively.
I really enjoyed being at Shoosmiths throughout my week. The people really did go further than they needed to in order to ensure that I was comfortable at the firm and I understood the work. There was a professional feel around the office that was underpinned by a general feeling of enjoyment - it seemed everybody enjoyed working at Shoosmiths. The atmposphere in general was excellent.
The week came with the incentive of being automatically fast-tracked to the assessment centre for a training contract if you impressed. Furthermore, the amount of time that people took out of their days to help me showed that the vacation scheme was taken very seriously. The firm's values were drilled into me where possible and help was given at every opportunity.
Having applied for, and successfully obtained, a training contract at Shoosmiths, it is clear that this criteria was fulfilled perfectly.
The week showed that the core values of Shoosmiths were more than just words on a piece of paper, they were genuinely true. This was evidenced at every opportunity and the friendly culture of the firm made by the people was clear to see throughout the office. Furthermore, the mini-project consisted of tasks that were underpinned by the core values of Shoosmiths.
My mind was already set on being a solicitor but allowed me to know I wanted to become a solicitor at Shoosmiths.
£250 for the week.
A task was set that consisted of speaking to certain people around the office and find out a bit about them. This allowed me to get to know people from different departments but also make new contacts and help me fit in. This ranged from colleagues within the HR department to Partners on different floors. Everybody was extremely helpful and happy to take time out of their day to talk to me.
Every lunchtime was spent with trainees from the office and this provided a great opportunity to informally ask questions and get to know the trainees. There was also a lunch for all trainees and vacation scheme students on the Thursday which was very enjoyable. Sadly I missed the monthly departmental drinks but ultimately I was able to ask all the questions I needed to and get to know people from across the office.
My supervisor was the organiser of the 'Shooski' trip and hearing the experiences of last year's trip and what she has planned for the upcoming event was great. To be able to ski in the Alps for a long weekend with people throughout the firm at different levels is great. Furthermore, there are regular charity events and sporting teams throughout the offices.
Yes, and I have done. The vacation scheme is not only a great way to learn more about the legal profession, but provided me with the chance to get to know Shoosmiths and ultimately become a trainee solicitor at the firm. It was genuinely enjoyable and the people at the firm went out of their way to ensure I was happy and comfortable.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Banking and Finance Law
18th November 2015