Legal intern at a leading law firm in central, southern eastern and Eastern Europe.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I very much enjoyed my internship and on the whole it was a very enriching experience. I worked shortened hours (10-3) but that doesn't mean I didn't learn a lot. The placement was exactly what I was after and I could see what the daily activities of a lawyer were. I was given research tasks and had the opportunity to go and see some tribunal work too.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I worked in a room with 3 other interns and we got on very well. There was a good atmosphere and we were all very happy to help one another. In terms of how valued we felt by the lawyers it was mixed. Some made an effort to get to know us and gave us various tasks but some were clearly too busy for this which is understandable in a legal establishment.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was expecting some kind of training from the HR department. The feedback we got on tasks was limited as well. This was slightly disappointing because we didn't really know where to improve and whether we were performing our tasks to an acceptable standard.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Our work load varied considerably. On some days, we would have to meet deadlines and extend our days to complete tasks. On others there was very little to do and we could leave almost on the dot. Some work/ research we set ourselves. For one week I was sent to archives to organise files.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
On the one hand we felt valued that the lawyers wanted our opinions on certain cases and would take our research into account when deciding on the next steps. However these occasions were rare and a lot of the time we were doing typical administrative / organisational tasks which are to be expected of a 6 week long placement I suppose.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills and experience I got out of the internship was crucial. To be able to say that I completed this internship and acquired all these skills will be crucial in the long term when I make applications for jobs and other placement schemes.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
This is a similar question to the respect we got from colleagues question.
The atmosphere among the interns was great. I was expecting the HR and administrative team to be a bit more energetic but I understand that a lot of the lawyers were busy so I'm not suprised they had little time to socialise with interns.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I was expecting some structured training and some more organised social activities. We didn't receive this but that doesn't mean no effort was made in this regard.
I know that some of the other interns were slightly put out that they had to spend a week in archives but it's inrealistic to think that as an intern you'll be given interesting work for the whole 6 week period.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The placement was non remunerated so in this sense not a lot was invested in the interns. That said we did get taken to a couple of corporate lunches and the experience on the whole was very positive. I was expecting some structured training which I didn't receive which was a shame but no regrets on doing the internship.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
There were no perks with
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Even though I completed the work placement to a high standard I would still have to interview with the partners and the firm and HR if I wanted to gain a permanent position at the firm.
However the placement has allowed me to get a foot in the door if I wanted to reapply for a permanent position. Besides this, the internship looks great on my cv so will allow me to apply for similar positions at other law firms.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I got on very well with the other interns who were all very friendly and helped me to settle into my new environments. They were keen to do activities with me outside the workplace and were also recommending places for me to go and see. They were especially helpful in organising trips to the beach and helping me to find accommodation.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living was very cheap. Taxis especially into the city centre could be bought for the equivalent of 4 euros or so (for a 15 minute taxi ride). The food and eating out is underrated I think and very cheap. Often after work I would eat with the other interns and it would come to the equivalent of around 4 pounds per head for a beer and basic meal.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife was good. Bucharest has an old town which is full of locals and tourists. There are plenty of bars and restaurants and the general vibe is great. Prices and cheap and there's plenty to do. Some of the clubs even have swimming pools and are quite classy.
Taxis back are cheap but I'd perhaps recommend using uber if you're not a local because the drivers will otherwise try and negotiate the fair with you.
Plenty of cool bars and rooftop bars.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was organised football which took place every Thursday evening and this was a good chance to get to know other colleagues from the firm who you other wise wouldn't see.
Besides this, there were a couple of corporate lunches that the interns got taken to get to know some of the lawyers. Both very enjoyable experiences.