Vacation Scheme Intern at DLA Piper

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

3.6/5

About You
4.1
The Company
3.8
Everything Else
2.9

About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I really enjoyed the Vacation Scheme, and the seats I sat in during my time there.
4 /5

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

It was a challenging time to be at the firm due to the cyber attack, but I did feel valued and welcome throughout the whole scheme.
4 /5

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

I enjoyed completing the tasks I was given, and then having the opportunity to ask for feedback and ask questions once I had completed them. The instructions I was given on the tasks was clear, and I was always told to ask questions whilst completing them if I was unsure of anything.
5 /5

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

I think the most valuable pieces of information I received were during the practice area talks, as they gave me a real insight into the role of a lawyer and the work DLA Piper does. The enthusiasm of the lawyers when talking about their work gave a very positive impression of the firm. The talks also gave me an insight into areas of the law I had not considered working in, and food for thought before the commencement of my training contract.
5 /5

The Company

5. How well structured was the insight?

I think the Vacation Scheme was well-structured, however, I think perhaps shortening the first introductory week may be advisable. I believe it is a real strength of DLA that it has regional offices throughout the UK, and bringing all the interns together to emphasise this and to allow us to integrate was a good idea. However, once we had been given our presentation tasks on Tuesday, which we were grouped in our offices for, the offices inevitably splintered apart. I understand that to make it cost and time effective it makes sense to bring the other interns to London for a week, but for what we did in that week it may be better to try and condense into, for example, two or three days if at all possible.
4 /5

6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

I was very impressed by how the firm came together in a challenging time, and showed real strength of character in adversity; the general atmosphere considering the circumstances was positive. However, most of the students were disappointed at the lack of socials, which typically characterise Vacation Schemes, and many solicitors I spoke to were surprised that we had not done more. It was disappointing not to have more networking opportunities with the trainees and lawyers. As we had spent the first week with the interns from other offices, I felt we, as the London cohort, did not get the chance to get to know one another properly, which was a shame. Consequently, we all greatly appreciated the pub trip organised by the trainees on the penultimate day. I am unsure whether socials were cancelled due to the cyber attack, or were not arranged in the first place, but I definitely believe this should be addressed.
3 /5

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

I felt the Professional Skills training sessions held in the first week demonstrated the firm's commitment to ensuring that the cohort had good foundations for preparing for the assessed presentations. I had a very positive experience regarding the setting of objectives and receiving feedback, although I am aware that this was not the same for everyone. I think although a numerical rating scale may be appropriate to review the performance of lawyers in full-time work at the firm, I think it is too objective/black and white for interns who are only in a seat for a week. The written feedback was in my opinion much more valuable, and perhaps this should just be used without the rating scale.
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?

Considering the circumstances, I felt I gained a good insight of what it is like to work at the firm. The practice area talks were one of my highlights of the scheme, as it really brought the work done in each department to life. I think more networking events with lawyers would give interns a greater insight into working at the firm.
4 /5

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

I already had a very positive impression and understanding of the culture at DLA, and I think from speaking to others they gained a similar good understanding. As above, I think more socials or networking events would develop this understanding further.
4 /5

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

The Vacation Scheme enabled me to gain an insight into two practice areas I am interesting, and confirmed that I would like to further my career in one of them; without the Vacation Scheme, I would not have had this opportunity. The Scheme was also valuable in the fact that it reiterated the number of opportunities available at DLA in a legal career.
4 /5

Everything Else

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

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

I really feel this is the main area of improvement for future Vacation Schemes. I do not know whether these opportunities were reduced due to the circumstances, but regardless of that it was a shame not to meet and network with other employees.
3 /5

13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

We had three organised social events, but it was disappointing that there were not more of these opportunities.
3 /5

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

On the Vacation Scheme itself I did not find out about any other activities beyond the Diversity and Inclusion activities. However, I was already aware that DLA has a variety of sports teams.
2 /5

15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

I would recommend it, as I think that DLA is a great firm, with lots of opportunities for trainees. The quality of work and feedback given was high, which I greatly appreciated. However, I would advise them about the lack of socials, as this is regarded by many students as a standard element of Vacation Schemes, and to have so few would most definitely deter applicants.
4 /5