Vacation Scheme at DLA Piper

Top Employer
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Review Date
Commercial Law Corporate Law
DLA Piper is a Top Employer


About You
The Company
Everything Else

Role Description

3-week vacation scheme for recruitment for a training contract.

About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

The vacation scheme was an extremely beneficial experience because I had the opportunity to hear many interesting people (including the co-CEO!) speak about various topics, and also participate in authentic trainee tasks to get a realistic insight into what life at a city law firm is like, while meeting a lot of great people.
5 /5

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

I felt very valued, as one of my supervising partners made sure to include me in all the updates of a large deal he was running. I was allowed to sit in on team meetings, conference calls and even attend a client meeting, and the partner came by himself the following week when I was sitting in a new department to tell me the team had now closed the deal. If I had sat in only this team, it would have been a 10.
4 /5

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

I received plenty of guidance, as I was assigned and introduced to specific people to approach for help for each task, which were more than happy to do so. The tasks were challenging enough as to really occupy my mind and show me what being a lawyer really is, but this was a really good thing. These were realistic trainee tasks.
4 /5

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

The skills I developed have allowed me to really understand what work in a big city law firm is like, which is what I really wanted. As regards my studies, it has shown me which aspects of my law studies are relevant for the real working life, and helped me in choosing my courses for next year so that I can cover the relevant topics.
5 /5

The Company

5. How well structured was the insight?

The insight was perfectly structured. We were told that they had recently changed up the entire vacation scheme with the arrival of the new head of global recruitment, Dominique Sabri, and her team. I have to say the new vacation scheme is a huge success and they couldn't have made a better choice of a graduate recruitment leader! The scheme was three weeks in total, of which the first week was induction week, where we had various speakers, and the next two were placements in two different practice areas with different supervisors. The speakers in the first week were excellent, and they spoke about a wide range of topics, including pro bono and diversity. We even had the co-CEO speak on the first day, which was absolutely fantastic. During the second and third weeks, we also regularly had talks organised by senior people within the firm, to give us an overview and speak a little about other practice areas, so that even when we could not do a placement in all of them, we had a good idea of what they entailed.
5 /5

6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The general atmosphere was very good, and all the vacation scheme students were very kind and supportive to each other, as were the graduate recruitment team with us. All the people working at the firm were very interested in us and always took the time to ask about us and give us advice.
4 /5

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

The firm invested a great deal in us, as the entire first week was only presentations and seminars. We had fantastic guest speakers and learned about various issues which are very relevant for our later career life, including personal branding and online personality, which clearly made an impression because I went straight home and worked on my Facebook, Linkedin and twitter accounts.
5 /5

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?

The vacation scheme is very helpful to see what life in a law firm is like. Before this experience I could only guess at what it would be like. Our experience was authentic in the sense of the type of work we did, where we sat in the office and our social interactions. However, there is a difference between this vacation scheme and when you have a full time role in the firm, namely that for the scheme the firm chooses great partners as supervisors and great practice area teams for you to sit with, so that you have a great experience. I think that in reality there must also be many teams and partners which are less fun to work with.
4 /5

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

The company culture became clear, especially through the speakers and topics they had selected for the first week. They focused on pro bono and diversity and inclusion. We had a presentation from the pro bono team and had to do an assessed presentation on one of their topics. We had a presentation on D&I and also had a D&I breakfast in the final week.
4 /5

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

This vacation scheme was the single most decisive thing I have done to determine my career path, because before actually working at a firm, you can only guess at what it would be like and whether you like it. I had guessed this, but working there and being excited to walk through the doors every morning and join the team to start work confirmed this for me. Now I know that I would never be interested in working in a law firm that is not in the city, not large like this one, and not international.
5 /5

Everything Else

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

We were paid 325 pounds per week.

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

Yes, the other employees often times came around spontaneously while I was sitting in the practice groups and introduced themselves. There was always the possibility to get a coffee with someone, and everyone from trainee to partner was very willing. I had coffee with quite a few people while there. Outside of work, there were less opportunities, as we only had two events with trainees. This was a good way to meet trainees, but there was not the opportunity to meet anyone more senior. However, it might also be better this way.
5 /5

13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

The first networking event was in the first week, with only vacation scheme students and the graduate recruitment team at a dinner. This was nice as it was right at the start and we students got to know each other. The second was in the second week with the trainees, and we did a group activity (Escape room), although I didn't enjoy it that much. The third was in the final week, and first only the vacation scheme students went on a speed boat on the thames, which was the most fun thing i have done in a while. I think we all really enjoyed it. After that we had drinks with the trainees at a nearby bar and they brought pizza, and it was a great evening.
4 /5

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

3 /5

15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

I would definitely recommend this to a friend. I think it is a fantastic opportunity to gain relevant experience for your career life, learn what life in a law firm is really like, and meet a lot of great people. I had a wonderful time during my scheme, and I think that while it was challenging, it was just enough to keep things interesting and people were only too willing to help. Everyone was super keen to learn more about you and approached you easily.
5 /5