We received a good amount of guidance and support over the two weeks. My supervisors in both seats were very willing to answer questions and have a chat even though they had a lot on their plate, and trainee buddies were also very helpful. We were also encouraged to approach other associates and partners if we wanted help or wanted to experience different kinds of work.
The two weeks were very well-structured. We had breakfast and lunch-time presentations from practice groups almost every day, so we weren't confined to our office desks everyday, We were still given sufficient time in the office to complete our assigned tasks as well as help in other work. The program also included a few fun events like sushi-making and a quiz night where we got to meet future joiners, which were well dispersed throughout the two weeks. All in all it was a good balance between work and play.
The lawyers, including the partners, all seemed to enjoy being at the firm. They were approachable and very willing to share their experiences. People were also very willing to stop and have a chat in the corridor, and were welcoming even though we were only in each seat for five days. The graduate recruitment team were also very fun and encouraging.
I think there was less emphasis on "training" than on experiencing and trying our hand at working in a law firm, which I think was for the better. While we were given assessed assignments to complete in each seat, we were not given undue pressure and were given sufficient guidance if we had difficulties. We were also encouraged to explore the firm and get to know people, which I think was more beneficial than having to learn things that we would learn on the GDL, LPC, or once actually beginning our training contract.s
I think the two weeks gave me a good idea of what it would be like to have a full time role as a trainee and associate at the firm. We were able to meet a good number and range of people, ranging from future joiners to partners. It was also very nice to have alumni reach out to us via email to arrange afternoon coffee meetings to get a broader understanding of the firm, as well as the different pathways that people have taken up until joining the firm.
Overall, by meeting lots of people and observing how people interacted in the office I think I was able to gain a good idea of the company culture. It is true that it is a very friendly place and lawyers strike a good balance between being professional and casual. It was very normal for a partner to walk into my supervisor's office for a chat and to also take some time to get to know me as well, which was nice.
It was very valuable, as I realised that there is a vast variety of work that I can try and experience in a big international law firm like HSF. The practice area presentations were very useful in this area and also experiencing a week each in two practice areas which I did not have much knowledge of prior also opened my eyes to new areas of work which I found very interesting. The firm also has good opportunities for international and client secondments which a lot of the lawyers have participated in and spoke very positively about.
We had drinks with the partners on our second day and all of the partners there were very willing to get to know us. There was very little awkwardness or hesitance in meeting people at the firm who are so senior, and it gave me the impression that everyone there was very friendly and down-to-earth. The GR team also encouraged alumni to meet us for coffee, which I really enjoyed as it allowed me to get to know people in other practice areas who shared a lot in common with me.
Yes. At the question and answer session we had with 4 trainees, they shared about the range of sports societies as well as social networks that the firm has. I was particularly impressed with how active some of the womens' and LGBT networks are, and also how the sports societies are very open to people of all abilities. A lot of the lawyers also spoke enthusiastically about the pro bono work that they currently participate in or have participated in, such as the Whitechapel advice sessions.
I would recommend it because it was an enjoyable two weeks. Even though there was a training contract at the end we were encouraged by everyone in the firm to not stress out too much about it and to instead enjoy the time we were there, which allowed us to learn more and enjoy the two weeks without the overhanging stress of a training contract interview at the end of the two weeks. Everyone was also very friendly and supportive. Especially given that the Easter vac scheme takes place during the Easter break before our university exams, I appreciated that I did not find the experience to be another source of stress but rather one of learning and enjoyment.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Central London and City
13th April 2017
£22,000 - £23,999