Spring Vacation Scheme at Shearman & Sterling LLP

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


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

It was a very interesting two weeks. I enjoyed the work I got (proofreading, drafting, case management, etc), and I think the scheme gave me a good idea of what trainees do.
There were some lulls during my time here, where I had no work, and given how much trainees do here this was perhaps a little unrealistic.
I also really liked the socials the firm sent us on, but felt like maybe there could have been a few more group activities. I felt a little bit isolated from the other scheme participants, as we were scattered across the firm.
Finally, the assessments were rigorous but fair. Starting them on the Monday of the second week was an interesting choice, as I feel like I didn't get to meet anyone in my second seat until Wednesday. Equally, it was nice finishing them early in the week.


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

The firm was very welcoming. I really appreciated that our names were added to the doors of the offices we were working in. I also appreciated that some of the work I did was helping the trainees and associates be more efficient in their work. Equally, I know that some of the tasks I was set were not 'real' - while this was an appreciated chance to show my skills and I understand why I received this work, it felt very artificial.


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

All of my mentors and supervisors were very helpful. They took the time to answer any questions I had, and were really good at giving feedback on my tasks.
The IT induction was also very clear. While I had issues with my IT throughout the scheme, this was not due to training.


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

This scheme helped develop my clerical, interpersonal, and research skills. These will be useful in pretty much any professional context. Equally, the assessments were a good way to increase my interview proficiency, and this will hopefully help me in the long run.
The scheme also gave me a lot of information as to the firm's practice areas, and really fleshed out my knowledge of finance (useful for my commercial awareness).


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

The first week was much more structured than the second.
In the first week, we had morning presentations on the work of the practice areas. This was really insightful and helpful, and was a good way to start the day. In the second week, the schedule was a lot looser. Starting the week with assessments made starting work difficult (as I hadn't seen my supervisor sufficiently), and the remaining days felt kind of empty in comparison to the others.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

People were very friendly and welcoming. Both of my mentors were very kind, and took me on tours of the office. People were very nice to me, even though I was only going to be there for a little while. Notably, the support staff working here is incredibly kind, knowledgeable, and approachable, asking me how my experience was going, even though they did not have to.


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


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 work I was given was quite representative of the work a trainee does early in their seat. The supervisor/mentor system is one that is in place for the trainees, and so having it during the scheme was a nice touch. Through this, I have an impression of what it would be like to work here.
The scarcity of the work, and the fact that we were done by 5:30 every day did not feel representative. The trainees and associates work incredibly long hours at times, and I did not get this experience through the scheme.


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


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

This scheme has been very useful in determining my future career. It has given me a clearer idea of why I want to work as a solicitor, what I will be doing as a trainee, and what exactly commercial solicitors do in these famous 'big deals'. Equally, this has given me insight into the character of the firm, and how I might fit in.


Other Information

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

The pay was decent, if a fairly standard lump sum. I was fortunate enough not to pay rent for my accommodation, or it might not stretch as far. The lack of cantine was felt, but equally the firm ensures you get taken out for a generous lunch at least once a week.

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


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

There weren't many networking events during my time. The one I did attend was excellent - there was a wide range of industry professionals, and it was very interesting to speak to them.
The social events organized by the firm were fun, taking place in venues I would otherwise not go to. The Sink Pong social without grad rec was greatly appreciated, as it really brought the group closer. There could have been more socials, particularly in comparison to the number held on other, comparable schemes.


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


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?