Vacation Scheme Student at Shearman & Sterling LLP

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date
£16,000 - £17,999
Commercial Law Corporate Law Legal/Law


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

It was a really great experience, and well-structured. There were events every other day, such as morning talks about the different practices and Q&A sessions (including with the Managing Partner), but still enough time to actually do work and get to know the firm more. There were enough social events - enough to have fun, relax, and get to know the firm informally, but not too many that we didn't have time to rest.

The vacation scheme was two weeks long, and we got to experience two different departments. We were asked to submit our preferences, and most people got the ones they requested. It was clear that Graduate Recruitment put a lot of effort into this!

Everyone was brilliant and the entire experience was a positive one. I would highly recommend a vacation scheme at Shearman.


2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?

The Graduate Recruitment team did a great job from even before the scheme to make sure we were welcome, from encouraging us students to get to know each other, to bringing in trainees to mingle with us.

In terms of the work itself, the people I was working with put in effort to ensure that I had real tasks that I could learn from. Some of these were challenging, but that was a good thing, and they were always there when I had questions.

The lawyers at the firm (including Partners) always had an open door and were more than willing to spend time to teach me. I had heard this would be the case, but was pleasantly surprised by the extent of this and genuinely felt that they were interested in helping me learn more.


3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?

We had a supervisor (an Associate) and mentor (Trainee) in each department, and the Graduate Recruitment people were always there if we needed help (along with the IT department!).

We received IT training on the first day which was helpful and generally sufficient to get me through the two weeks.

My supervisors and mentors were all incredibly helpful and I always received constructive feedback on my work, which was very useful. I appreciated the fact that a number of people specifically took time out to speak to me about certain things.


4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I learned a lot about the work solicitors do, as well as the different practices. It helped open my eyes to some practices that I didn't know much about while helping me better understand those I was already interested in.

In addition, I learned valuable research skills that will help me in my degree, and gained a better sense of commercial awareness.

My experience confirmed that I want to be a solicitor.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

The vac scheme was very well structured, and everyone we worked with knew our schedules, so we weren't given too much work on the days where we had assessments. The social events were staggered throughout, which was great.

It was quite clear that our supervisors and mentors had been adequately briefed about what we were supposed to do, and knew what tasks were appropriate for us to do.

The timing of the assessments was generally good too. They were at the start of our second week, when we had already learned a bit more about the firm and spoken to people.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

I rate this as 8 due to the cues 'dull' to 'fun never stopped', as it's certainly not a two-week party, but I felt it was the right balance between work and fun social events, so would give it a 10 on that point.

We had 4 main social events: a cooking class (a lot of fun), drinks for just us nearby, dinner at Duck & Waffle (interesting), and farewell drinks where a lot of the lawyers and future trainees were there to mingle. Everything was well-coordinated.

Everyone was friendly and positive. The people were incredibly intelligent, but there was never a feeling of competition within the firm.


7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

The firm places a lot of emphasis on recruitment and personal development. People were willing to take time to speak to me and answer questions I had, whether it was about a task I was assigned, or more general questions that I had.

There were sessions every morning in the first week introducing us to the different practices at Shearman.

The IT training on the first day was useful.


8. To what extent did the insight help you to understand what it would be like to have a full time role with the company or firm?

I felt that I got a very good idea of day-to-day life at the firm, and everyone was very open whenever I asked about this. There were plenty of opportunities to ask about formal structures (eg. seat rotations), and the times I spoke to people in the firm gave me a good insight as well.


9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?

The two weeks I spent there provided a good insight, especially as everyone was very open. The culture was great, and people I spoke to confirmed that that is the general culture across the firm. Having informal sessions and social events was also great as it allowed us to speak to people informally, and I got a good taste for the culture then as well.


10. How valuable was the content in helping you to decide on your future career path?

The whole scheme was very valuable. I had already known I wanted to be a solicitor, but this made me 100% certain.


Other Information

11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?

We were paid for the vac scheme itself (enough to cover expenses), and reimbursed travel expenses for the pre-vac scheme meeting we had a few weeks before.

12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?

Yes (see my other comments).


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

They were great, and very well balanced (see above).

The events were a nice mix between allowing us to get to know each other better, and the people at the firm as well. They were nice and casual, but people were also happy to answer law/career-related questions.


14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?

Yes. There's a big emphasis on pro bono, which I got to do work on, and we had a presentation on it. We were also invited to join their sports games, which some of the students took up the offer on.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

Definitely! I had a great experience and thoroughly enjoyed it. I learned a lot more about the work solicitors do, while getting to know the firm itself. The social events also made it more fun, and I would definitely encourage people to apply.