Student at Clifford Chance

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Bristol South West
Review Date
Commercial Law

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About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

Although short, plenty of opportunity to immerse yourself in the firm, its culture, and meet the people.


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

Whilst everyone made a huge effort to make us feel welcomed and important from trainees to the very top senior partners, the graduate recruitment team really went above and beyond to make us feel valued


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

Depends what guidance and support being referred to. With regards to our careers as lawyers at CC loads. But also support and guidance on how to make the most of the scheme.


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

You learn quickly how to hold your own in front of peers and assessors which hugely help with the soft skills that you need for getting ahead.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

It was amazing how much was packed into such a short space of time. We got exposed to all aspects of the firm from the top to the bottom. A huge amount of attention-to-detail on the part of the grad recruitment team has to be applauded in created such well structured but not forced 2 weeks.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The grad recruitment team explained to us right from the beginning that there were 22 of us on the scheme and 22 training contracts available. This immediately disarmed the atmosphere and allowed everyone to drop their guards removing any sense of competition. We also had a pre-scheme social which meant that when we started the scheme everyone was new everyone so it was a really friendly atmosphere. Didn't feel like I had to perform the whole time and there was a degree of sincerity, frankness and honesty that allowed to asked the challenging questions we really wanted to ask about Clifford Chance. The weekend away also allowed everyone to get really close build real friendships with other vac schemers and also people from Clifford Chance.


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

We had a really interesting public speaking coach do a sessions with us to improve our confidence and delivery. Also the whole time we had access to feedback by just asking our supervisors, buddies and the grad team so we constantly see where we needed to improve. The firm really invested in us as people rather than small cogs that need polishing for the corporate behemoth. We attended seminars that allowed us to all be on the same page about the world of finance and what big-law entails.


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?

We were given so many opportunities to speak to trainees, associates and partners to ask challenging and even intimate questions about what it was like to be a lawyer at Clifford Chance. I really valued the ability to ask really frank questions and get honest answers without feeling like I was being judged. It almost seemed to impress asking tough questions as it showed a level of maturity about what you were about to take-on. We had some special private sessions where we could specifically ask questions to a partner in complete confidence. But ultimately you never really know until you throw yourself into it.


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

We learnt all about the corporate responsibility and pro bono work at Clifford Chance. I also felt really integrated into the team. I was invited to team lunches and meetings as well as joining one team on one of their after-work socials at a skybar. Everyone was super diverse and open-minded and I think it was very clear that there is no one type at Clifford Chance which is great because that means that there's space for every type of person.


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

The package was so complete. All my questions were answered. I also found that individuals took a real interest in the choices I am about to make and sat down with me to work-out what was in my best interest for my development. It was an unbelievable experience for working out how to tackle life after university.


Other Information

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

We got paid a very competitive salary and whilst I was not in receipt of bursaries, there was extra support available to people who needed it. The firm covered food and any travel that was part of the scheme (not including the commute) was covered. Also plenty of free coffees, drinks and lunches at fancy restaurants.

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

So many networking opportunities. We met partners, associates and trainees from all the major departments at Clifford Chance. We had events specifically with partners or trainees. In addition, we could request to be put in contact with anyone in the firm to meet-up for coffee so I requested to meet the head of one of the faith societies at Clifford Chance.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

Hit and miss. Some were fantastic and some were a little tedious but that's no ones fault as such and shouldn't reflect badly on the scheme because it would be like that wherever you go when there are so many events and networking opportunities. But always people were approachable and friendly even if incredibly busy. I think it just really depended on the day rather than some major issue to do with the scheme as such.


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

I got to join a few socials. But I was told that teams go on retreats to exotic countries for a few days and ski trips to the alps. There are also clubs, societies and sports teams. A friend went to play for the Clifford Chance cricket team in a tournaments against the other Magic Circle firms which I am told Clifford Chance won. There are faith groups, pro-bone and corporate responsibility activities to get involved in. But above all, it seemed that people formed real and genuine friendship with colleagues who they go on holiday with, enjoy weddings together and have a great time when not working.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

Yes. It's hard to get onto but there is no better insight into what a Magic Circle law firm does and especially what it is like to work at Clifford Chance. If you want to join Clifford Chance and you want to make the most informed decision you can about working there, the only way you can really get a close-ish sense of it means to work at Clifford Chance is to do the vacation scheme.