I really enjoyed the vacation scheme. The whole thing was run so efficiently (even with the cyber attack!) and everyone at the firm was welcoming and full of ethusiasm. The week in London was fantastic, it was great to speak with partners and sit with them at the meal in a more relaxed setting. I found the pitch project quite stressful initially as it seemed like a lot of work but once me and my partner had worked out how we wanted to conduct the presentation this was also enjoyable.
Absolutley everyone I met at the firm had nothing but time for me - from trainees to partners and grad recruitment. No question went unanswered! I also found the Manchester office to be particularly welcoming - the office puts on a free breakfast every morning and three mornings in a row I ate with different partners who joined my table. I also found that the work set for me was well explained and whoever had set it also set aside time to go over what I had done and answer any questions.
The objectives we set at the beginning of each week acted as a guide for that week and I found that both of my supervisors were happy to discuss them mid - week to ensure I was doing everything possible to meet those objectives. I also felt that grad recrutiment were in constant contact and had made it known that they could be contacted at any point if any issues arose. I felt fully supported throughout the whole experience both in the office and through the grad recruitment team.
I think the timing of the cyber attack did mean that I may have not gotten a full insight into each department in terms of the work they do but everyone did the best they could to make sure I had work to do which was on a trainee level. I think most of what I learnt was more to do with how to conduct yourself in a professional environment - a skill which is so important as I continue my studies.
The vacation scheme was extremely well structured. The week in London was the perfect opening as we got to meet everyone from every office and get a real feel for the firm through talks from incredibly successful lawyers. The two presentations were also timed nicely and we had enough time to prepare for each. The only slight problem was that it did feel like we had a lot of objectives to meet in a really short amount of time as we did spend alot of time away from our desks at insight talks and various other things (all of which were great). This was something I worked out with my supervisors though so wasn't a huge issue as they were aware I had limited time to get work done - I guess it gave me a more realistic insight into working under pressure!
The atmosphere was great - I got on with all of the other vac schemers I met from every office but especially from the Manchester office. The atmosphere in the office was welcoming and it seemed as though the staff of the office were genuinely excited to have us there for two weeks. The trainees in the Manchester office were also really welcoming - they even arranged a pizza night for us in the second week. My buddy was also great.
The firm invested fully through objectives, talking and writing down personal goals and discussing future plans. We also received feedback after week one and a score which meant we could move forward and improve during week two.
It helped me fully understand what life would be like as a trainee at DLA. The only issue was the cyber attack but this affected everyone in the firm so really it was still an insight into life in a global firm who is susceptible to such threats! We got to attend the summer party also so even got an insight into the fun stuff which was fantastic. In terms of day to day office life we were definitely given a great experience as we were encouraged to interact with everyone in the team and get to know them.
The whole insight was a full picture into DLA - this was especially evident when we had the Diversity afternoon and got to here all about diversity in the firm from members of our own office who take part in it. I think by the end of the three weeks I felt a true understanding of the culture and values of DLA.
The whole experience really helped me assess my goals and determine whether I wanted to go into commerical law. DLA Piper is definitely a firm to aspire to be a part of and the great culture the firm offers in fully on show during the vacation scheme. The vacation scheme was invaluable in helping me decide my future career path.
So fantastic that we were paid to be part of the firm. Payment was made promptly at the end of the placement and we had been instructed of this at the beginning of the placement which was brilliant.
The meal, the summer party, the pizza and drinks were all fantastic networking opputunities. We were also given the chance to really immerse ourselves in the teams were joined for the week and I felt I had met a lot of people in the office by the end of the placement. In the Manchester office the free breakfast and the staff lunch in the Hive were also great ways to network.
Well organised and really fun events which allowed us to speak with anyone from trainee to managing partner in a relaxed and social environment.
I heard about various sports teams and pro bono.
Yes - 100%
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
18th July 2017