The vacation scheme was a very useful way to get an insight into what life would be like working for a global commercial law firm. The structure of the scheme meant that we spent the first 4 days in the London office, which allowed us to meet people from all the other regional offices and London office. We then spent the remaining two weeks in our chosen office, spending time in two departments. The first week was more introductory, and allowed us to settle in and get a good feel of the firm.
Overall, I felt like a valued member of the firm. There were times where I felt that I could have been given some more work to do. Although not often, occasionally I had no work that i could be getting on with despite asking around the department for work.
We received a lot of support during our vacation scheme, especially in the first week where there was a lot of graduate recruitment presence. I would maybe add that there could have been more contact made by grad recruitment to the regional offices, as we only saw them briefly before our presentations.
I believe that i became more confident during the scheme, which was helped by the training skills workshops. I also enjoyed developing more group work skills which were required for the presentations, and the ability to present well.
The vacation scheme was well structured. The first week in London worked really well and would recommend that DLA Piper continue to structure like this (knowing that this additional week is something new that they've recently started doing). Spending 2 weeks in the departments was also very beneficial and allowed us to gain an insight into what kind of work we could expect as a trainee to be involved in.
The general atmosphere was very welcoming, and i felt at ease to ask any questions I had. I especially found that in my regional office all the staff were very friendly and welcomed having conversations with us and taking us for coffee to have a chat. I felt that i was able to ask anyone from a trainee to a partner a question.
During the three weeks, the firm put on professional skills training on topics such as how to present and personal branding. These sessions were helpful at getting us to think about what sort of image we were portraying of ourself and if this is the image we want to portray. In terms of the presenting session, we received helpful tips and pointers on how to present, although I felt that a lot of this was just reinforcing that we already knew.
The internship allowed us to get a great feel about what a typical life as a trainee would be like. In each of the two departments i sat in, the trainees took me for a coffee where I was able to ask questions about what they do in a typical day and any advice they had for me. They were more than willing to take time out of their day to meet with us, and answer any questions we had from the work set to us.
I got a good feel for the company culture. DLA Piper appears to be a very warm firm, despite being so large and having a massive geographical footprint.
During my time spent at DLA Piper it confirmed to me that I wanted to pursue a career in commercial law and at DLA.
We were paid on the final day of the vacation scheme, but still waiting to be reimbursed for our expenses.
There were several opportunities to network, including a networking dinner on the second day of the scheme whilst we were all in London. In terms of other networking events, it was more informal and down to you to talk to people from the firm.
The networking events in London were good, however our regional office there was only one social event, a dinner, which came on the penultimate evening. I would have liked maybe having maybe one more social event in the evening to allow us to get to know the trainees better and our fellow vac schemers.
Personally i did not, however I was told be other people on scheme about a choir, and a netball club.
I would definitely recommend this insight to a friend.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
18th July 2017