Vacation scheme student at Herbert Smith Freehills

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I thoroughly enjoyed the HSF vacation scheme for many reasons. Firstly, I was able to really get involved in the cases which were being worked on, therefore I was able to learn very quickly. Not only were the cases varied and interesting, but the work which I did for them was just as interesting, for example researching complicated areas of law, drafting letters to clients and attending client calls and meeting. I got great exposure to the firm, and the kind of work I would be doing as a trainee, thus it was a really informative and enjoyable insight into the firm and the profession.


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

This was something which I found positively surprising throughout my vacation scheme at HSF. Whether the work was a research piece for a partner or associate, or helping the trainees with their tasks, everything I did was rewarded with gratitude, making me feel as though what I was doing was in fact useful and valued.


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

The work which I was set on my first day was very daunting at first, and I questioned my ability to undertake the work and succeed at it. However, the guidance and support which I received was so helpful, and this enabled me to learn things very quickly so that I was able to do quite complicated pieces of work and research by the end of the scheme. The level of support has really heightened my confidence in my ability to be able to undertake similar tasks in the future. Moreover, the bigger picture career guidance, support and advice received from individuals throughout the firm has been completely invaluable and thoroughly appreciated.


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

It is without doubt that the skills I have developed and information which I have received throughout the scheme will assist me in my future studies and beyond. For example, the skills which I have developed such as learning how to efficiently draft client notes, internal notes, conduct practical research, the business development and commercial considerations which must be kept in mind as well as the purely legal factors will, I am sure, prove very useful in my future career. The skills which I have developed provide a very solid base for commencing the LPC and a training contract.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

The scheme was very well structured with a good balance of activities on each day. Most days there was a lunch with a talk from a different department which was really insightful, and enabled us to learn more about those departments in which we did not sit. There were also several evening drinks events and activities.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The general atmosphere was very welcoming and supportive. It felt as though we were truly welcome in each of the teams, and that our work was being valued. Moreover, the open door policy whereby you can ask anyone any question made the environment very inclusive and positive, and we were made to fell part of the team very quickly.


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

The firm invested heavily in our training and development. For example, most days we were given a presentation from a partner or associate regarding their specific department or area of expertise. Moreover, in each of the teams I was in, everyone took time out of their days to explain things to me and help me with my tasks which was really appreciated.


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?

The vacation scheme has provided an invaluable insight into what it would be like to have a full time role with the firm. The work which I have been doing has been truly representative of the work which a trainee at the firm would be doing, for example reviewing documents, creating bundles and creating research notes. I have also had a large deal of exposure to different people throughout the firm which has given me a very clear picture of the culture and type of firm which it is.


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

As mentioned above, the scheme has been an invaluable experience for understanding the firm's culture. This has been because of the exposure to many different people throughout the firm at very different levels. It has shown that there truly is a culture of inclusivity and that everyone is a valued member of the firm.


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

The content of the day has been invaluable in helping me to decide on my future career path. The work which I have been doing has highlighted to me the type of work which I have actually been doing if I were to be a trainee at the firm, and is work which I believe would suit my interests and skills sets, thus reinforcing my desire to be a corporate lawyer.


Other Information

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

We were paid a competitive salary with other vacation schemes, and it was a very sufficient amount.

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

There were many opportunities for networking and meeting other employees at the firm, from all different levels. For example, during my time here I felt fully integrated within the teams in which I was sitting. However, there were several other opportunities for networking, for example there was a partner drinks event, talks from different partners and associates most days, and other more casual drinks events, at which I was able to meet so many employees from throughout the firm.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

The social and networking opportunities were really great.


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

Yes. We were able to attend a sports and societies fair during one of the days of the scheme. This was really great in showing the range of things on offer to employees outside of work. For example, there was a vast range of different sports to get involved in, a choir and other music opportunities, a women's network and many more.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

I would undoubtedly recommend this vacation scheme to a friend.