Month long vacation scheme at Linklaters
The vacation scheme was so much fun! It was an extremely busy 4 weeks, where I learned a lot. I sat in two different seats, IP and competition, which allowed me to see two different areas of the firm. The work I was given in both seats was interesting and challenging. I thought it was great that I was actually given real work, which was useful to my supervisor.
I got on really well with all the other vacation scheme students and ended the four weeks with a lot of new friends.
My supervisors were always clear in their instructions when giving me work. They set aside time to go over all the work I had completed and offer any comments/suggestions. I always felt like I could ask them questions.
I was set some work by a partner in one of my seats, where he set aside ~1 hour to discuss the work with me both before and after I had completed it. This amount of support really impressed me as all the partners are incredibly busy!
Juggling the presentations, workshops, social events, and work given to me by my supervisor was quite a challenge. The vacation scheme definitely polished my time management skills and ability to prioritise workloads. I think this will be extremely useful for when I begin my graduate job.
We had several workshops over the course of the scheme, for example I took part in a client pitch exercise. This was a great opportunity to develop my presentation skills and reminded me how important it is to specifically address my target audience. I will use these skills a lot in the final year of my degree, where I will have to give several presentations.
The organisation of the scheme was absolutely seamless, even down to things like taxis waiting outside to take us to social events and having food prepared and ready for us on some of the workshops/networking activities we did. I was given a schedule of the presentations, workshops, and social events on the first day of the scheme. All the events were spread evenly across the four weeks. These all gave us the chance to meet a wide range of people from across the firm and ask them questions.
We were given presentations on almost every practice area of the firm so that we had a good overview of the kind of work Linklaters does. The workshops gave us the opportunity to experience what a mediation and client pitch would be like.
The office environment was extremely welcoming. Lots of the trainees/associates introduced themselves to me in each seat I was in. The work I was given was challenging but I never felt afraid to ask for help when I needed it.
There were also lots of fun social events, including things like champagne on the London eye and the Thames rib experience, where all the vacation scheme students could get to know each other in a more informal setting. This meant we all knew each other really well by the end of the scheme.
The firm put a lot of resources in to our development during the vacation scheme. They put on a large number of presentations/workshops, many of which were led by associates and/or partners. This meant we were learning from very experienced people. The time invested in us by employees from all areas of the firm was high.
Most of the work that I completed for my supervisors reflected that of a trainee at the firm. I also had the opportunity to go for coffees/informal meetings with trainees from different departments. Speaking to them gave me a good insight in to how the work varies between departments within the firm.
Four weeks was a long enough time to experience the true culture of the firm. I met a huge number of people from across the firm. Talking to as many people as I could was the best way to figure out whether I would fit in if I were offered a trainee position at Linklaters after the scheme.
Completing the scheme showed me what working as a solicitor in London would actually be like. It was important to me to see what the work would be like, particularly coming from a non-law background.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and found the work fascinating. Having done the scheme, I am now completely sure I want to be a solicitor.
I was paid £400 per week, and was paid weekly during the scheme. I don't have any relatives of close friends living in London so I paid for accommodation to stay in whilst I was there. My salary was more than enough to cover this in addition to my other expenses over the month.