Vacation Scheme Student for one week
I had a fantastic week at Shoosmiths. My Placement was a great insight into the culture of the firm and I can honestly that Shoosmiths' lawyers are truly friendly and down-to-earth people. I had plenty to do throughout the week, including a mini assignment and project. There were also many opportunities to engage with people from throughout the firm and I felt that everyone was very willing to give time to talk to me. I also got to experience the social side of the firm when I was taken to lunch on Friday and drinks after work.
From the beginning of my first day I felt a valued member of the firm. I was tasked with real work for real clients. It was great to be given this kind of responsibility as a Vacation Scheme student. Whenever I completed a task my trainee supervisor made sure they allocated time to chat through it with me and provide feedback. I also felt that I could always ask questions about the work I was carrying out.
I received a lot of guidance and support on the tasks I was set by my trainee supervisor. As mentioned previously, I felt that I could always ask questions about anything that I was unsure about. I also received a call during the week from a member of the Graduate Recruitment team to check how I was getting on and to find out if I had any questions. The mini assignment and project were, however, very much independent tasks and therefore I was not given a lot of guidance on these.
The skills that I developed during my Placement week will certainly aid my progression on my undergraduate programme and further my confidence in my own abilities. I know that the skills I learned will be directly transferrable to any legal career. I undertook a wide variety of tasks that tested many different skills from organisational to presentation skills. I also received some very useful tips about application advice and general advice about how to pursue a legal career.
I felt that Graduate Recruitment had planned my week thoroughly. I was always busy with either work to do for my mini assignment/project or other tasks set by my department. I received task sheets that guided me through my assignment/project. I had clear deadlines for these tasks and received emails throughout the week reminding me of when things were due.
I was lucky enough to spend my week in two different departments - Corporate and Commercial. I was introduced to my trainee supervisors from these departments at the beginning of the week which made the transition from one department to the other very smooth.
I found the atmosphere in the office to be open, friendly and approachable. The atmosphere was quite relaxed in comparison to that which I experienced at a city law firm. People were genuinely interested in me and my background which made me feel welcome and a part of the team. I found people of all different seniority levels throughout the office to be easy to talk to.
I really liked the open plan office. I feel that it added to the friendly and non-hierarhcical atmosphere. It made it very easy to work collaboratively with different people from across the office.
I was able to gain a good insight into the working culture and atmosphere of the firm. The opportunity to experience work in two different departments enabled me to realise that the open and friendly culture is consistent throughout the firm. I genuinely found everyone to be very welcoming and the firm lived up to its expectations.
Each Vacation Scheme student is paid a set amount for the week.
I was invited to lunch on Friday as an opportunity to meet more trainees from across the office. This was a great way to network and ask questions in a relaxed environment. I was also invited to drinks on the Friday after work as a member of the office was leaving. It was a nice gesture to be included in the drinks event.
It was good to be able to get involved in some of the networking/social events that took place throughout the week. This further added to my insight into the culture of the firm. It was also a great way to meet people from across the office and not only to chat to people in my department.
From spending lunch times with trainee solicitors I was able to find out about the work/life balance. Employees are encouraged to engage in volunteering and charity work. Each employee is allowed to take one day a year to participate in pro bono activities. There are a variety of events that the firm puts on to raise money for charity such as Mufti Friday, sponsored bike rides and table tennis competitions.
I would definitely recommend this insight to a friend. I would encourage all those interested in applying to national law firms to apply to Shoosmiths. Shoosmiths stood out to me as a very high caliber firm who takes the interests of its employees very seriously. It is also a fantastic opportunity to learn and apply new legal skills.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Commercial Law, Corporate Law
East of England
25th June 2017