Vacation Scheme Student at Herbert Smith Freehills

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date
Less than £ 10,000


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I really enjoyed the vacation scheme. I feel that it gave a fantastic insight into the firm as well. There was ample opportunity to meet and talk to fee-earners at all different levels. This was aided by the different talks conducted and the various social events that took place throughout the scheme.


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

Despite only being here for three weeks, I felt very valued throughout the vacation scheme. This was because of the feedback I consistently received from human resources and my supervisors, which was not only immensely helpful for me whilst at the firm but I am sure will prove useful in future endeavours too.


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

I was given regular guidance and feedback. On our first day, a member of graduate recruitment let us know what the feedback was from our assessment day; this was immensely valuable as it pinpointed the areas in which we could develop. I also received feedback from my supervisors on multiple occasions.


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

This was not terribly helpful for my studies as I do not study law. That being said, for my future career prospects, I believe this experience to be very valuable as it gave me a real insight into life at a city law firm and allowed me to development transferable professional skills.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

Herbert Smith Freehills' vacation scheme was very well structured. There were talks held nearly every day, which allowed a fantastic insight into the firm as a whole. Having two weeks in one department and one week in another was also fantastic in allowing an overview of the firm's different practice areas.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

I found the atmosphere to be really enjoyable. All the fee-earners I encountered were exceptionally friendly and approachable, which meant the environment in the office was very jovial and friendly. Graduate recruitment were also exceptionally welcoming and sociable, which meant that the events (run by them) were really fun and lively.


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

I felt that there was a huge amount of investment in us, primarily in terms of time. My supervisors gave me ample amounts of time to discuss the matters that they were working on and the work that I was doing. Needless to say, the amount of time sacrificed by graduate recruitment throughout the duration of the scheme was also sizeable.


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?

By the end of my vacation scheme, I felt I had a really god insight of what it would be like to work as a trainee at Herbert Smith Freehills. This is not only because the work we were expected to do was comparable to the work conducted by trainees but also because of the amount of time I spent talking to trainees and gaining an understanding of their day-to-day activities.


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

It is difficult to gain a full picture of the company’s culture in three weeks, especially on a vacation scheme where they are in effect trying to sell the firm to you too. That being said though, I do feel like I have got a good sense of it from speaking to different people.


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

I did real work that was actually used by my supervisors. This was really invaluable as I knew that it reflected the kind of work that trainees would be expected to do. That being said, I do know that they tried their best to make sure the work was as interesting as possible, so it was not entirely reflective of the entire scope of work expected to be completed by a trainee.


Other Information

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

I was paid £400 a week.

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

There was ample opportunity for this. There were several events planned during the evening, one was a specific partner drinks, which allowed contact with senior members of staff that you may not have otherwise have had the opportunity to talk to in a relatively informal setting. Trainees also attended several of the other events.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

They were really enjoyable and varied. One of the most enjoyable was the dinner on the first evening, which was only for the other vacation scheme students. I felt that this was a really good opportunity to meet the other participants in an informal setting without any firm representatives present.


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

Yes, not only through talking to various fee-earners but through the 'network's fair'.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?