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The Role

Role Description

2 week vacation scheme

  1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?
  2. The vacation scheme at Herbert Smith Freehills provided me with a great opportunity to see how the firm works. I had a great time shadowing both of my supervisors and enjoyed the social activities that the firm organised for us- from Sushi making to dinner and drinks.


  3. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?
  4. Although I was only there for two weeks I did feel really valued. I was asked to do meaningful tasks which contributed to the cases that my supervisors were working on, albeit in a small way!

    I also really felt that people at all levels were interested to know why I wanted to work there. Trainees, associates and partners all made time to sit with me and answer questions.


  5. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?
  6. This was one of the best things about the vacation scheme. Everything was really well organised and I never felt like anything was done to try and trick us or test us unfairly. We were told exactly what was happening, what was assessed and what wasn't and we had guidance sessions with feedback from our interviews.


  7. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
  8. I attended the vacation scheme as a working graduate so this wasn't so relevant to me. However, the scheme was really great in helping me to decide to commit to a career move into the law.


  9. How well structured was the insight?
  10. I thought that the vacation scheme had a great balance of structured time, time with supervisors and social time. It was all well organised and well thought through to give us a balanced programme and lots of different experiences.


  11. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?
  12. Very positive! Everyone in my cohort really enjoyed their placement. Obviously, sometimes we were concerned about impressing and getting things right but generally everyone felt really relaxed. We were given a group task where everyone contributed and helped each other.


  13. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
  14. I don't think this is particularly relevant to a vacation scheme. We did have some personal development sessions but these weren't particularly informative for me and they didn't seem very well prepared by the people who delivered them. I think this is something that could be improved upon.


  15. 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?
  16. Hugely. I did the vacation scheme to confirm that I wanted to pursue a career change and it really helped with that. I did lots of tasks from bundling to research and writing guidance notes. I got to speak openly with lots of people from all departments and I didn't feel like people were 'sugar coating'.


  17. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?
  18. I think 2 weeks somewhere gives you the opportunity to see what an office is really like. I definitely got to understand the general culture, and also the sub-cultures in different departments. I found everyone to be open, fun and respectful which is exactly how the firm marketed itself. So, for me the vacation scheme was really helpful in confirming my perceptions.


  19. How valuable was the content in helping you to decide on your future career path?
  20. Some days were more useful than others, but the sum of the two weeks was crucial in my decision to become a solicitor.


  21. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?
  22. The firm pays vacation scheme students £800 gross for the two weeks. If you are working they automatically deduct VAT so the cheque you receive is lower.

  23. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?
  24. Yes. Lots! Mostly it was with trainees and associates but partners did also attend. We even had a talk from the Manager Partner, which I thought was amazing access for some interns!


  25. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?
  26. On the whole they were good. Some were drinks and nibbles and others were structured events like the Sushi making. We had one evening at the start just for the vacation scheme students. This was a nice opportunity to get to know one another informally.


  27. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?
  28. Yes. We had talks from charity, pro-bono, social, diversity and other networks.


  29. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?
  30. Yes, absolutely. It's a great way to see what HSF is like, but also great insight into an office environment and how big law firms work.


  31. In addition to these questions, is there any extra information you would like to leave about your experiences on your work placement that other students may be interested in?

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Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)

Commercial Law

Central London and City

29th September 2017

Less than £ 10,000

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