Vacation Scheme Student at DLA Piper

Top Employer
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Review Date
DLA Piper is a Top Employer


About You
The Company
Everything Else

Role Description

A three week vacation scheme. The first week was an induction week with introductory talks and projects being sent. The second and third weeks were spent in two different departments, helping with any tasks set by members of the department.

About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the vacation scheme, with the most enjoyable part of it being the people. From the moment the scheme started we were welcomed into the firm, not only by the graduate recruitment team but by partners and associates across all levels who gave us talks, worked with us in departments or even just came to find us and introduce themselves. The scheme was well organised and the induction week was really helpful to ease us into the scheme and help us get to know everyone.
5 /5

2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?

During the scheme I was made to feel like I was contributing positively with the jobs that I was asked to do. Even though there were technological difficulties at the time, I was still given real, quality work by people in my department even though it was a challenging time for them as well.
5 /5

3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?

The graduate recruitment team were great and were always asking us to come to them if we needed help. I never felt like I was bothering anyone if I asked them a question, including any partners I worked with. My supervisors were always very happy to help with the presentation task we’d be given, and both sat down with me to go through the task and offer some insights.
5 /5

4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

What I developed most during the scheme was my presentation skills, as we did 2 presentation tasks and I also did a more informal one within the department I was sat in. The skills I learned in relation to this already helped me with the presentation I had to give for my university course the week following the scheme, and they will really help me going forward as I feel like it showed me how to work with a team to create a quality presentation, structure it and prepare myself for giving the presentation and answering any questions that may be asked relating to it.
5 /5

The Company

5. How well structured was the insight?

I was really impressed by the structure of the insight, especially given that despite all the technological difficulties that the firm was encountering there was minimal changes to the scheme and I did not feel like we missed out on anything because of it. The team always made sure we ultimately knew what we were doing and where we were meant to be. Also, having the induction week at the beginning was a very helpful way to get to know the firm and the people before going into departments in the second week which would be quite daunting if it was our first week there.
5 /5

6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The atmosphere was great! Even though it was a challenging time for everyone at the firm, for the most part everyone always seemed to be quite optimistic and accepting of the difficulties. Everyone at the firm seemed to know who we were and were always interested to know how we were getting on in the scheme, and were very happy to talk to us about embarking on a career in law.
5 /5

7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

The graduate recruitment team organised various talks in the induction week, including on personal branding and presentation skills. They also organised practice area talks with the partners who headed the practice areas to give us an insight into each department, which was extremely helpful as I learnt more about what lawyers in those areas do. There could have been more training within the seats, but the technological difficulties would have made this quite hard.
4 /5

8. To what extent did the insight help you to understand what it would be like to have a full time role with the company or firm?

I found the vacation scheme really helpful to give me insight into what it would be like to work in the firm, as we were given real work which actually contributed to what the lawyers were doing. It was also really great to receive work from trainees, as a lot of the time they explained that this was the sort of work we can expect to do whilst undertaking the training contract and it was good to see the sorts of jobs I may be asked to do as a trainee.
5 /5

9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?

I think that the vacation scheme’s main emphasis was on what DLA Piper is like as a firm and how it sees itself differently from other law firms. All of the firm members who we talked to seemed to have a very clear and similar view on what they thought DLA Piper’s culture is and they obviously all were very proud of it.
5 /5

10. How valuable was the content in helping you to decide on your future career path?

I found the scheme extremely helpful to convince me that I would like to embark on a training contract. Having done a vacation scheme before which I didn’t enjoy as much, I was a bit worried that law wasn’t for me but after completing the scheme at DLA Piper I’m really excited to embark on a career as a solicitor there. It seems like they give a lot of responsibility to trainees and also value them as much as anyone else in the firm, and they complete a lot of interesting work for big clients.
5 /5

Everything Else

11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?

We were paid £325 per week, which I think was a fair amount for an internship. Although the scheme was demanding at times, we were never expected to work very late hours and were given a lot of freedom to decide when to leave and when to work on our group projects.

12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?

There were various opportunities for networking after talks that we were given, and also we were always encouraged to ask questions of partners before and after their talks. We had a lot of exposure to other members of the firm whilst in our departments, not only with our supervisors, and a lot of firm members would come up to us and introduce themselves.
4 /5

13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

We had a short social event on the first day of the scheme, and a networking event with partners on the second day which was well organised and the partner who sat at my table made an effort to talk to everyone and get to know more about them. The trainees also organised a social on the penultimate day of the scheme which was a really good night. However, it would have been nice to have one or two more events organised by the firm, especially during the first week of being in departments as it would have been good to have a social event once we’d got to know the other vacation schemers a bit more and could relax a bit around them.
3 /5

14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?

We heard a lot about the pro bono activities at the firm, and also the women’s and the LGBT initiatives. The diversity breakfast we had was a really great insight into some of the organisations that the firm has. However, I do not recall hearing that much about other activities that employees can get involved in outside of work, which would have been quite interesting to hear about.
4 /5

15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

I definitely would recommend a vacation scheme to a friend, and actually already have. I thought the graduate recruitment team put a lot of effort into making the scheme as insightful as possible, and everyone at the firm made us feel welcome and were willing to answer any of our questions to make sure we got as much out of the experience as possible.
5 /5