Placement with the Employment team, undertaking research into various areas, and completing a mini assignment and mini project.
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement- I was able to gain great insight into the team that I was sitting with (Employment), whilst undertaking wider research tasks of really topical areas, enhancing my commercial awareness. I was also able to witness first hand the practical application of Shoosmiths' values, gaining valuable insight into the firm's genuine culture and lack of hierarchy.
I was never made to feel like a burden during my placement, which was really encouraging. Everyone within my team welcomed and supported me throughout my week, and made an effort to feedback to me on work that I had undertaken. Even after leaving, my mentor has emailed with feedback on a piece of work that I undertook having now reviewed it. The phone call from grad recruitment mid-week- just to check up on how I was doing- further showed the value that the firm placed in my being with them.
Grad recruitment was constantly on hand should I have had any queries or was in need of support- they communicated frequently via emails and a phone call. My mentor was also a constant source of guidance and support- both in the work I was undertaking for her, and wider queries regarding the firm and applications- whilst my team too was highly supportive and always ready to answer questions,
My research skills and presenting skills were significantly developed during my placement, and will prove invaluable as I progress through my studies and career. Shoosmiths' placement also allowed me to draw on creative skills, and think about business development and client relations.
My placement was incredibly well structured. Before arriving, I received emails about my upcoming placement. On my first day, the welcome pack that I received provided a comprehensive outlook of my week. Having the mini assignment and mini project (culminating in a presentation) to complete alongside my mentor's tasks meant that I was always busy, and had a fixed end-point to work towards. It was incredibly rewarding to complete my project and reflect upon the work I had produced and the development I had undertaken.
The atmosphere at Shoosmiths was really positive, and a fun and vibrant place to work. The firm's open plan office and agile working meant that I was sat next to a Partner on my first day, and was able to engage with the whole team and feel like a valued member!
The project that I undertook during my placement illustrated the investment that the firm was making in me. This greatly developed my presentation and other personal skills, and the genuine engagement of those invited to my presentation was really encouraging and rewarding.
My placement was an invaluable insight into the role of a trainee at Shoosmiths and the typical work that I would undertake here. The mini assignment and project in particular allowed me to gain a thorough understanding of Shoosmiths' values, and how the firm strives to engage and communicate with clients,
My placement was crucial into gaining a real understanding of Shoosmiths' culture, The mini assignment and project required me to really engage with the firm's values and implement these into my work. In correspondence with grad recruitment these values were also heavily impressed upon me. Most notably, however, the firm's values were evident in practice in my team's work, and their supportive and guiding nature.
My placement cemented for me that I do indeed want to pursue a career as a solicitor, working with reputable clients in a challenging and encouraging environment.
I was paid a fixed price for the week. Although expenses were not paid for (i.e. train to and from work), the firm did offer to pay expenses for any business travel undertaken during the week. My mentor also had an expense quota for my lunch each day which was a nice surprise!
There were vast opportunities to meet employees throughout the Thames Valley office of the firm, facilitated by my attendance at the end of the month office briefing. I was able to meet the other trainees in the office, and spent time with them at a social event, as well as those within other departments of the firm.
Although there were no organised networking/social events during my week with the firm, I was still able to go for both lunch and after work drinks with the trainee cohort during my placement. This was really valuable, and also a nice chance to get to know more people from the firm in a more informal setting. It was really lovely to be invited to these events.
Yes- there are vast opportunities to get involved with business development, as well as sporting activities and leagues.
I would definitely recommend this insight to anyone who wishes to work in a welcoming and dynamic regional firm, with forward thinking ideals, a genuine culture, and high ticket work and clients. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Shoosmiths, and always had something to be working on- although posing challenges in managing my time, this was so refreshing and meant the week completely flew by!