First Year Springboard Scheme Candidate at Clifford Chance

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

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About You

Role Description

First Year Springboard Scheme Candidate

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

The First Year Springboard Scheme is simply one of the best offerings available for first year students. Encompassing excellently presented classroom-based activities, a day spent in a selected practice area with helpful and enthusiastic associates, and a trip to an international office, I simply cannot imagine how a better week-long scheme could be organised, resulting in me thoroughly enjoying my time at the firm.

Having said this, it would have been beneficial to spend more time sitting within the practice areas, this being the only drawback of the scheme.


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

Taking into consideration the fact those on the scheme were first year university students only spending a week with the firm, the engagement by lawyers, from trainee-level all the way through to partners, was truly commendable. Participants were truly made to feel valued, with many lawyers offering their time to take part in networking events throughout the week.


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

Graduate recruitment at Clifford Chance were exceptionally supportive, answering any queries candidates had as regards any aspects of the scheme or recruitment process.

Q&A sessions were held at the end of every presentation or activity, providing clarification and further analysis where required. Presenters were also happy to take one-to-one questions following the completion of activities, allowing for candidates to ensure they fully understood all aspects of the topics being discussed.

When sitting in the practice area, supervising associates ensured any queries we had were resolved and assistance was offered where required.


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

The 'classroom-based' format of the First Year Springboard Schemed succeeded in giving participants a comprehensive yet introductory insight into the main practice areas of Clifford Chance. Often encouraging learning using practical sessions such as negotiation workshops and 'personal impact' sessions, the high standard to which the teach was conducted has allowed me to truly develop a multitude of skills, ranging from public speaking and communication to teamwork. Though these may not be directly applicable to my degree studies, they are certainly key attributes of a commercial lawyer which will assist me in my chosen career.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

The schedule for springboard was very comprehensive, and participants were treated to a tightly-packed series of sessions. The contents of the scheme were designed to give candidates an insight into both the work and culture of Clifford Chance, and succeeded in doing so in a thorough and well-structured manner. A combination of practical workshops, international excursions and time spent shadowing lawyers demonstrated an extremely well-planned vacation scheme.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The frequent networking events and group exercises promoted a collaborative and friendly atmosphere between participants, resulting in there being an apparent absence of competitiveness between candidates.

The collegiate culture at Clifford Chance was exhibited continuously by lawyers at all levels, who took time to attend presentations and networking events and showed a genuine interest in candidates during conversations.


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

One of the most impressive features of the First Year Springboard Scheme was that not only did the firm seek to give us an insight into the work of the firm and its people, but great effort was made to include sessions aimed at the personal development of candidates. This ranged from negotiation workshops to public speaking skills sessions with experts. The result was that I feel I left the scheme with an improved and refined skillset, allowing me to better exhibit the key attributes of a commercial lawyer.


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 scheme utilised two principal means of allowing candidates to become better informed as to what it would be like to work at Clifford Chance: networking sessions and time spent working alongside the firm's lawyers. The many networking sessions allowed candidates to meet and talk with lawyers from all corners of the firm, and at varying stages in their career. This allowed me to acquire a good picture of how lawyers at CC enjoy their work, and what it's like to work there. The time spent in the practice areas enabled candidates to get a good idea of the type and quality of work conducted at the firm.


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


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

Throughout the scheme, those conducting presentations made it clear that their intention was not to 'sell' the firm to us, but to give us the best possible insight into commercial law generally so that we are then able to make a well-informed decision as to whether such a career path was right for us. This attitude came across readily throughout my time at the firm, and it allowed me to attain a truly valuable insight into the industry in general, as opposed to just Clifford Chance.


Other Information

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

£350/week pay, as well as expenses incurred during the scheme (such as taxis to the train station).

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

The opportunities for networking were plentiful. This ranged from 'social breakfasts', either within the firm or at another location, to networking lunches and evening events. All of these sessions were attended by trainees at the firm, allowing candidates the opportunity to discuss specific practice areas or elements of the recruitment process from those with a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

The networking and social event opportunities were excellent! The networking events, as discussed above, allowed candidates to get a great feel for life at Clifford Chance from a wide range of trainees and lawyers. The social events were interesting and of a very high quality, and included an immersive theatre experience, a trip to the firm's Paris office, and a farewell dinner at an excellent steak restaurant.


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

Yes, there were specific talks given on the pro-bono and community outreach initiatives of the firm. Trainees also spoke of the quality of the gym and fitness classes available, as well as the active social life trainees have together outside of work.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

Definitely! I cannot imagine a higher quality, more enjoyable, week-long scheme.