Three week vacation scheme at Herbert Smith Freehills
The work with which I was provided was varied, stimulating and enjoyable. In addition to work, Herbert Smith Freehills laid on a variety of social events, ensuring that I could get to know fellow insight students and stakeholders throughout the firm. This insight placement has been my most enjoyable placement to date and I would recommend a placement at the firm.
I felt remarkably valued at the firm. I did not meet a single person who was not friendly throughout my placement and stakeholders at all levels, including partners, were eager to get to know me. On several occasions, Partners passed me in the office and stopped to introduce themselves and ask how I was getting on during my placement. I also felt valued by each of my supervisors.
My placement involved regular feedback sessions from supervisors and the human resources team. This ensured that I was getting on as well as possible throughout. My supervisors and stakeholders throughout the firm were happy to explain the bigger picture of matters to me and provided guidance on more detailed issues related to the tasks I was given.
I learned a significant amount about working in an international law firm, which will help me beyond my law degree. I learned the importance of: managing deadline expectations; creating trusting working relationships both internally and externally, and working and drafting concisely. I also learned a number of different technical legal skills, including how to draft transfers and a variety of different types of deeds.
The placement was very well structured. The placement with a detailed timetable on day one, explaining all of the events of presentations scheduled to take place during the upcoming weeks. If ever there was a change of plan, this was communicated by email. Transport was seamless where events were not within a short walk from the office. I was able to experience working in two different departments, but representatives from all departments were available for a coffee.
The atmosphere was very laid back, assisted by the firm's non-hierarchical and friendly culture. Laughter was commonplace in the office. Doors are always open and internal stakeholders of all levels were happy for me to say hello. I have not met anyone unwelcoming and have enjoyed working in this atmosphere. The atmosphere is also conducive to contributions: trainees and junior associates are never afraid to express their point of view as a result of the firm's atmosphere.
In taking on a work placement student like myself, the firm is heavily investing time and resources to ensure that the firm and myself are given the opportunity to get to know each other. The most valuable investment was the time of my supervisors, human resources and the many partners and associates who helped, explained and presented to me throughout the placement. In addition, I was provided with communication training and IT training to assist with my day-to-day activities.
With the exception of working hours, which I am already comfortable with, the placement felt very representative of a full-time role with the firm. The work was very representative. The variation in different types of work allowed me to experience perhaps even more than a person with a full-time role would in the same time period. A real working timetable inclusive and work which was all real client work supported the placement. It was then intermingled with social events and presentations, which would be less common in a full time role.
The placement enabled me to gain a full understanding of the culture of the company. By working as a trainee solicitor would, I was exposed to a significant number of persons throughout the firm, which, in turn, allowed me to gain an accurate understanding of the firm's remarkably friendly culture. I do not believe that there is a better was to understand a firm's culture than working and socialising within that culture for several weeks.
My general future career path was generally decided prior to this placement. However, the placement was invaluable in guiding the direction of my career in terms of comparing the cultures of different firms and in terms of specific practice areas, The placement did effectively confirm my general career path. It was useful to have delivered to me presentations on a variety of different practice areas throughout the placement. This will enable me to choose which practice areas I would like to sit in more easily than I would have been able to prior to the placement.
I was paid the London living wage.
Many different networking opportunities were laid on, allowing me to meet a variety of different employees of the firm in many different situations. These situations ranged from more formal drinks receptions to informal drinks and leisure activities such as bowling and crazy golf. This facilitated maximum exposure of and to those employees.
Always enjoyable and with some very useful and thought-provoking discussions.
Yes. In particular, through a 'networks fair' and various other informal conversations.
Undoubtedly. The working and social experiences were very enjoyable, and I gained a deep understanding of the firm.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Central London and City
7th July 2017
£18,000 - £19,999