Spending three weeks at DLA Piper really allowed me to get to know the firm in depth. I got a very good perspective on how the firm works and most importantly, on what differentiates the firm from its competitors. The programme was well-organised and despite the IT attack the firm suffered during the time I was there, DLA Piper still came out as a very ambitious firm that will grow in the years to come.
Here, I have to distinguish between two "moments" of the vacation scheme: the induction week; and my work placement. During the induction week, I felt "less valued" than during the rest of the scheme, but this is of course understandable as 73 students participated to the scheme. In any case, organising induction together with all vac schemers from other UK offices was an excellent idea and getting to know everyone largely compensated for my perceived lack of being valued as an individual. However, during my work placements in the second and third week I genuinely felt like a member of the team and enjoyed working in this environment very much. Everybody was very chatty and and I felt like other trainees and solicitors were making a real effort so that I felt included. On the last Friday I realised I did not want to leave at all.
Considerably more than I expected. I felt like everybody cared about my personal development. This included not only the members of the Graduate Recruitment, my buddy and supervisors but also all other solicitors with whom I worked and whom I met during my time at DLA Piper. Everybody was approachable and keen to discuss literally anything with me.
Two key skills I developed during the vacation scheme were attention to detail and drafting skills. I was given a very good guidance on how to improve the memoranda I wrote and how to organise more efficiently my ideas.
Very well. I think that the induction week was particularly effective to get to know the firm but also other participants. I also appreciated the everyday presentations of different departments. This was definitely one of the highlights of the vacation scheme. However, I would have appreciated more social events and team building activities with other vac schemers that would allow us to get to know each other.
Amazing. Dominique, Katie, Petra and Chad have done an excellent job!
Quite a lot. I felt like the solicitors with whom I was working during the 2nd and 3rd week really took their time to explain the deals that were going on and tried to include me into the work of the team. Generally, everybody was very approachable and nice, always keen to discuss anything.
The presentations of each departments were very very effective. Also, the opportunity to spend each week in a different department turned out as an excellent way of getting to know the firm - and its working culture.
Mostly week 2 and 3 were very helpful.
Very. Mostly the informal discussions with my supervisors and other solicitors with whom I had the chance to work helped me realise that DLA Piper is a place I want to work at. In general, everybody was very approachable, friendly and "down to Earth", which cemented my desire to become a part of the firm.
Although I would have appreciated if personal circumstances were taken into consideration and if was reimbursed all of my travel costs, not just a part of it. At the same time, I of course understand that this could be unfair to other participants of the scheme.
"Networking" was one of the weaker points of the scheme. Even though we had a number of talks and seminars, it would have been more effective to organise networking events, more dinners or cocktails or other activities. I have already participated to another vacation scheme at a competitor firm, and have to say that activities like "team cooking classes", or treasury hunts and etc. ended up as a highlight of my experience there. It would also have been nice to have an opportunity to get to know the other participants better, outside the "formal environment" at the firm.
The networking events we had were nice but I feel like there is more that could have been organised for us.
YES! Specifically, I was surprised by the firm's commitment to pro bono.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
15th July 2017