I enjoyed the insight very much. The first week of talks and professional skills training with allotted time to undertake group presentation tasks was a nice way to ease us in and for us to familiarise ourselves. Equally, the second and third weeks of the scheme in our practice groups were excellent and I gleaned a lot of knowledge from my time spent in those departments. This learning experience was augmented by meeting great people - both the other vacation scheme students and the DLA Piper staff.
During the first week I felt very valued, due to the fact that the Graduate Recruitment team made a visible effort to relax us and introduce themselves. Also, the fact that very senior members of staff came to give us talks and time to answer our questions made me feel valued. This valued feeling continued during the second week of the internship where everybody introduced themselves and my supervisor was very kind to me. The feeling dwindled during the third week where I only managed to have a day of face time with my supervisor, who was incredibly absent.
The first week of the scheme included professional skills training courses which implied how we were expected to conduct ourselves and act during the scheme. Similarly, it was made very clear what we would be assessed on, which was very helpful guidance. The second and third weeks were more subjective. During my second week I had lots of contact with members of staff including my supervisor which resulted in a lot of guidance. However, during my third week I felt very distant from my supervisor who was absent and felt as if I did not learn as much as in the second week (although my supervisor did provide good guidance when present).
I feel as if the skills I developed and information I received will assist my greatly beyond my degree studies. This is due to the variety of assessed criteria on the vacation scheme. In terms of skills, I developed a lot from the presentation assessments as I am a fairly shy person and had never engaged with any form of public speaking at university, so the two presentations allowed me to personally improve. Furthermore, I gained a great deal of information which has improved my understanding of the legal industry generally and what it means to be a solicitor, whilst also providing me with more specific, technical knowledge.
The insight was incredibly well structured. The Graduate Recruitment team were fantastic and everything was planned meticulously, especially the first week where there were 74 students to handle! Everything ran extremely smoothly and this was even more impressive due to the IT failure at the firm at the time. I feel as if the second and third weeks in the departments were more subjective and could have possibly benefitted from some more formal structure (e.g. centralised objectives) however being left to go and find our own work was beneficial.
This is a tough question because I think that my own nervousness on the first day impacted my view of the general atmosphere. Despite the effort of the Graduate Recruitment team to relax everybody, I felt that during the first week there was a very competitive edge to many of my conversations with people and the fact that there were so many students meant that I felt a bit lost. This improved during the second and third weeks where I made some great friends who I have kept in contact with. I feel like the scheme could have benefitted from more centrally organised social events as these were very fun.
I felt like the firm invested a lot in me, especially in terms of time and money as some very senior members of staff gave up their time to come and talk to us and field our questions. Equally, we were very well remunerated on the scheme. Access to the scheme was very competitive so I felt lucky to be a part of it and I found that, generally, the majority of the members of staff were very willing to give up their time to explain something to me or even drop by for a chat.
Upon completion of my vacation scheme I think I now fully understand what it would be like to have a full time role at DLA Piper. Spending a fortnight in two different practice groups has allowed me to really appreciate what the day to day activities of a DLA Piper lawyer are, and more importantly I learned that these appealed to me. I also learned about the culture and work/life balance at the firm, as well as the more direct duties of the role. Some lawyers spoke candidly about the pros and cons of the role which allowed me a more pragmatic insight.
I learned a lot about the firms work/life balance, values and some lawyers spoke candidly about the pros and cons of the role.
The content affirmed my desire to become a solicitor at a City firm.
We were left to our own devices in this regard as it was kind of up to us to meet as many people as we could, although Graduate Recruitment did put some networking events on which allowed us to meet a good number of employees.
There were only two centrally organised social events over a three week period - both were great fun but I feel like there could have been more, especially as I was quite tired as the lack of social events either meant I stayed late in the office or worked on my group presentations at home. The lack of social events also meant that there were some people on the scheme who I didn't really get a chance to speak to properly, and there were others I didn't realise I got on really well with until very late on in the scheme. The networking events were better as there were more of these put on.
Not as such
I would 100% recommend this insight to a friend.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
24th July 2017