I thoroughly enjoyed the vacation scheme and was very sad to be leaving on the last day. There was no task or part of the week that I did not enjoy; everything I did was work delegated from trainees and solicitors, which enabled me to learn a lot across areas of the firm. Everyone I worked with and came across was incredibly friendly and welcoming.
I felt valued the entire time I was here. The fact that I was doing the same work as trainees in the firm allowed me to feel valued due to being entrusted to complete tasks to a high standard. Everyone was very accommodating and keen to check how I was getting on, which also made me feel valued and like part of the team here.
The guidance I received from my supervisor was fantastic; she introduced me to most people in the office Monday, explained to me what each person does and ensured I had work to complete at all times. Everyone who delegated work to me, including my supervisor, was incredibly supportive; I felt that I could ask any question and never feel silly. All the work I completed received feedback, therefore this kind of support was given to me throughout the week also. Furthermore, my supervisor looked through my tasks set by graduate recruitment and provided feedback and guidance before I submitted them.
The information I learnt during my time at Shoosmiths will assist in my studies, as I completed tasks for departments that link to the areas of Law I will be studying in my final year at university. The skills I learnt will give me a good starting point in my career as a solicitor, as I was able to gain an insight into the type of everyday skills that solicitors in this firm use in their roles.
On the first day, I was greeted by my supervisor who knew exactly who I was and what kind of experience I wanted to gain from the vacation scheme - a great start. I was given plenty of notice by my supervisor and graduate recruitment as to tasks I needed to complete and deadlines for these; I never felt that I had been forgotten about. However, the structure was still flexible in allowing me to complete work across departments, which I appreciated.
The atmosphere in the Solent office of Shoosmiths is lovely and I felt relaxed the whole time. Everyone is friendly, approachable and accommodating and I was able to speak to people informally during lunch breaks. I never felt in the way, out of place or silly for asking questions. I felt that I fit in with the team straight away and the values that Shoosmiths holds are definitely reflected through the atmosphere of the office.
Every solicitor that gave me a task took the time to explain everything in detail and ensure I was confident before beginning the task; this allowed me to feel that time was being invested in me to ensure I was receiving adequate training. In terms of development, I received detailed feedback from every task I completed, which allowed me to rectify my mistakes and develop my work.
Due to being delegated work that trainees would complete themselves, seeing the Shoosmiths values in practice during a working day and learning key skills required to be a solicitor in this office I gained a real insight into what it would be like to be a solicitor at this firm.
The culture was reflected through the atmosphere in the office. I gained an increased understanding of the company culture from the fact that everyone was so friendly and allowed me to feel relaxed; observing the way that members of staff approach their working day and clients also allowed me to see this culture in practice.
The vacation scheme allowed me to work within areas of Law I had not come across before, which is something I highly value. It allowed me to form an opinion, based on seeing and completing real work of the solicitors', as to which fields of Law I would prefer to look into more during my studies and career.
On the first day, I was introduced to most people in the office across various departments, including the department I was working in. I was able to meet with employees for a chat about their careers and to gain answers to my questions during the week, by asking for ten minutes of their time or e-mailing them. I was also able to network by undertaking tasks in other departments, attending a telephone conference and going out for lunch with employees.
I was able to go to a social committee meeting one lunchtime, which allowed me to find out more about how the office interacts outside of work and the social events undertaken. Furthermore, one lunchtime I was able to go out for lunch in a restaurant with trainees and solicitors, to network outside of the office; this was very enjoyable.
I learnt about these activities from the social committee meeting I was able to attend and speaking to trainees about activities organised by the charity committee and the firm as a whole. It was pleasant to see that employees do organise regular social events together outside of work and place emphasis on work/life balance.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Corporate Law, Employment Law
16th June 2017
Less than £ 10,000