Summer Vacation Scheme Student
I enjoyed doing the work of a trainee as it is exactly what I would be doing as a legal trainee if successful on a vac scheme. This was largely down to the work my trainee chose to give me. This was useful to experience and the work itself was also enjoyable rather than admin tasks.
The department I was in were extremely friendly and went out of their way to make me feel welcome. This was despite them being busy. The work I was given made me feel valued because it seemed to me that I was doing real work and not there to tick a box. The drinks and meals put on by GradRec also contributed in a big way to overall feeling valued. From conversations with my peers, this is not commonplace across all law firms.
I was always told clearly what was expected of me in relation to a particular task. Many members of the department I was in also gave me advice ahead of the interview and presentation which was appreciated.
I have now finished my degree but the information and skills picked up here will assist me greatly in relation to working in the legal sector. I have recieved insight into the typical tasks of a trainee and general experience of client briefings and how these work.
I felt generally it was very well structured with an introductory first day, various events planned and a presentation and interview the second week - which we were told of long in advance on the first day. My only criticism would be that at 2 weeks with one day of introductory stuff and one afternoon of assessment it is perhaps a bit short. However, I understand that this is fairly standard in London now and allows more people to do more placements.
The atmosphere in my department was very productive and very friendly. The trainees who joined us for the various events were enthusastic and seemed keen to engage and represent the firm to us. I cannot really speak to the atmosphere of the office beyond my department.
Numerous one-on-one chats and Q&A sessions with qualified lawyers, trainees and partners. particularly working with the trainee I felt I have learnt how to do several trainee tasks. The firm gave us IT training and the presentation and interview were both further opportunities for personal development.
As you are essentially shadowing a trainee while finding out more about what the firm does, the placement entirely demonstrates what a full time role with the company would entail.
We had a detailed introductory talk on the culture of the firm and plenty of opportunity to ask questions in relation to this, particularly at the Partner interview where the Partner I had invited questions on this and provided very detailed answers.
Useful as it clearly showed what this particular future career would involve. I was then able to decide whether it was something I enjoyed and would be interested in.
We were encouraged to pick up train tickets from reception for Edinburgh-Glagow travel.
Several lunches and drinks events provided ample opportunity for this.
Well-organised, frequent and fun. We were taken to nice restaurants and were joined by staff who were interested in getting to know us.
All trainees and other lawyers we spoke to spoke about the other activities available to CMS employees e.g. CMS World Cup. All were enthusastic about them.