One week placement at Shoosmiths
I really enjoyed the vacation scheme and felt I developed a wide range of skills throughout the week. At first, I felt nervous but there was no task during the week that I didn't enjoy. All the tasks were delegated from trainees and solictiors so I developed a greater understanding of the firm. I felt at ease and comfortable enough to talk to anyone in the firm.
I felt extremely valued throughout the week as I was asked about my opinions on work. I was given the same work as trainees and I felt the team placed a high degree of trust and confidence in my abilities. Everybody in the team consistently asked me if I felt settled enough and had enough work to do which made me feel a part of the team.
My supervisor was incredibly supportive during the week. My supervisor introduced me to everybody in the office on the first day, explained what each member contributes to the team and ensured I had enough work to complete. Every member of the team was very supportive and consistently gave me work to complete. I also felt I could ask any questions without the fear of looking silly. I also received feedback and my supervisor looked through my tasks sent by Graduate Recruitment and provided clear and valid feedback before I submitted them.
I completed my degree before taking part in the placement at Shoosmiths. Thus, the placement at Shoosmiths was a great opportunity to consolidate information I learnt during my degree. I was able to put into practice information I learnt and thoroughly understand the practical and social context of the law. I also gained a greater understanding of the skills solicitors use.
The placement was very well structured because before the placement, I was introduced to my supervisor who asked me what I wanted to gain from the vacation scheme and what prior experience I had. I was also given tasks by Graduate Recruitment and deadlines to complete these by. The placement was also flexible enough to ensure I had the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of work from the team.
The genuine atmosphere in the Birmingham office of Shoosmiths is lively but relaxed. Everybody was just themselves, approachable and friendly. I had an opportunity to create a social event for the team and everybody seemed interested and excited by this. I felt a member of the team from day one, allowing me to ask any questions I wanted without the fear of looking silly.
I felt the team had invested greatly in me because they took the time to explain every task to me and ensured I felt comfortable enough to complete the task. By explaining the task in detail to me, I felt the team was investing in me by ensuring I received suitable training. Every member of the team also took the time to give me clear and constructive feedback on every task I completed.
I thoroughly understand what it would be like to have a full time role in Shoosmiths because I completed tasks that trainees would normally compete. I also felt I was able to put the Shoosmiths values into practice and learned the valuable skills that solicitors need.
The insight helped me to understand the company culture because I felt I was able to witness first hand how the Shoosmiths values are put into practice. The placement gave me confidence that I want to be a commercial lawyer. I also gained an understanding of how the open plan office layout enables teams to communicate and remove hierarchy which still exists in some firms.
The placement helped me to decide on my future career path because I felt a part of the team at Shoosmiths and hence, I could see myself working for a commerical law firm in the future. The culture was approachable and cooperative, allowing me to see where I could become a member of the firm.
There was many opportunities to meet other employees at Shoosmiths. I set up a social event for me to network with other members of the team. The office is also open plan so it was easy to approach other employees in team.
As previously mentioned, it was incredibly easy to meet other employees at Shoosmiths due to the open plan office. I also took part in the charity events at Shoosmiths, allowing me to meet other trainees and vac scheme placement students.
A work life balance is encouraged at Shoosmiths so I was told about the ongoing Health and Safety week and activities that were taking place. I was also informed of any charitable activities that were taking place.