The insight programme was a great opportunity to acclimatise to the culture of the firm and gain a broader knowledge of the wide range of opportunities available to students considering a career in law. There were plenty of talks from various partners on a variety of topics, which were engaging and often entertaining too!
Both the graduate recruitment team as well as the wider legal team at DLA Piper were incredibly welcoming and went to great lengths to ensure that students on the scheme felt at ease. There was always someone at hand if there were any queries, and no question was a stupid question!
Multiple members of the graduate recruitment team were always on hand to assist with any queries held by the students on the scheme. The firm also provided students who had travelled from afar with accommodation in a nearby hotel for three nights completely free of charge, and reimbursed expenses. This financial assistance ensured that the scheme was accessible and participants felt financially supported throughout their time at DLA.
The skills I have acquired during the scheme may not be directly beneficial to my studies. However, it has greatly benefitted my confidence, and has made me more comfortable in large social situations. The presentation skills acquired throughout the scheme will be useful to implement during vacation schemes and assessment days, where students are often set similar challenges. I will thus feel more at ease in situations like this.
The structure of the scheme was generally pretty good, with action-packed days. The activities were varied, and included a mix of group work, talks and workshops, which were all very engaging. There were some activities which felt less controlled than others, such as the deal spotlight activity, which felt a bit disjointed at times, perhaps due to the large group numbers.
Generally, the students on the scheme were enthusiastic and supportive of one another, which generated a warm and welcoming environment. Similarly, partners, associates, trainees and the graduate recruitment team contributed to the friendly atmosphere of the firm with their generosity and candid advice. By the end of the day, it was noticeable that everyone was feeling the fatigue, but this was hardly a hindrance!
It felt very much as though the firm was aiming to please us, which thus made the participants feel as though they were valued by DLA Piper. However, there weren't really many opportunities for direct personal development, as there were few one-on-one opportunities with members of the firm. That said, the personal skills developed through group work are incredibly useful. The hospitality provided by the firm over the course of the three days definitely ensured that participants felt as though they were being invested in.
The insight scheme was really useful in providing a first-hand insight into what a role at the firm may entail. Over the three days, we were provided with the opportunity to discuss careers with trainees, associates, partners and members of the graduate recruitment team, which allowed us to develop a well-rounded view of what a career at the firm may entail at different stages of the profession.
Being able to experience the firm from a first-hand approach allows me to get a feel of the firm's atmosphere. We were exposed to a wide range of employees at the firm, which allowed me to develop an understanding of what the core values of the firm are, and what it is that links everyone together.
The scheme provided me with heavy exposure to the corporate world, which was great in informing my career choices, as this was something I hadn't previously experienced. Talking to different employees at different stages of their careers and with very different backgrounds and experiences has helped to inform me that I would like to pursue a career in commercial law.
Hotel accommodation was provided for all three nights, as well as travel expenses.
There were a wide variety of opportunities for networking, including a drinks reception on the first evening and a lovely Italian meal on the second night of the scheme. At such events there were lots of different employees, including future trainees, actual trainees, partners, associates and members of the graduate recruitment team.
The social opportunities were endless, and the firm frequently encouraged us to socialise both within and outside the firm. The firm ensured that we were all in the same accommodation, which meant that we could all travel to and from the firm en mass. The bonds made between participants were incredibly strong, and we are likely to stay in touch!
The firm seems involved in lots of charitable opportunities, which actively involves a wide variety of employees. However, we weren't exposed to many opportunities to hear about social events hosted by the firm. Regardless, through speaking to trainees and associates, I was assured that there are opportunities for socialising outside of the workplace.
The insight was incredibly useful in informing my career choices, and has allowed me to feel much more independent and confident in situations involving lots of new people. I have developed a wide variety of skills, and have secured strong friendships with a range of other students on the scheme, many of whom I hope I will meet in the future when we start applying for vac schemes at the firm.