I had never had an experience like the First Year Insight Programme at DLA Piper. None of the other law firms I have attended were so engaging and were able to give such a window into what life would really be like as a trainee there. As well as that, they treated us so well and we got lots of free food!
While there were another 80 odd people on the programme, I felt extremely valued by the graduate recruitment team. As well as the GR team, the partners who gave talks about their legal practices were all very engaged and spoke to us all before and after their talks.
Communication was really good through the insight. The programme was so well organised and we were all given a pack of information at the beginning which included a photo of everyone taking part so we could get to know the rest of the cohort. We went sent regular emails before and after as well.
I believe some of the skills I developed on the programme will be invaluable to a career in law. As a non-law undergrad, currently I won't be able to use some of them but as soon as I get on my GDL I'm looking forward to implementing the skills I learnt at DLA.
Everything had been thought of when it came to structuring the insight. We were all given a programme detailing the three days we would spend with the firm. It could be said lunch was a little too long - which is saying something! But the activities were varied and well organised.
The atmosphere was great. Everyone attending was really nice and the GR team were very supportive. After we were taken out for dinner on the second day, a group of us went for a drink to get to know each other better which was indicative of the relationships I've formed on this insight.
I would say the days we were there would be akin to the length that trainees would sometimes work. We also did a couple of activities that were based upon corporate deals and presenting to clients which were very reminiscent of trainees work. It was good to do long days and have a go at the 9am - 7pm sort of life!
The experience gave a real insight into the company culture as we spoke to people from global co-heads to partners, and associates to trainees. Speaking to this range of people they all said the same about the supportive environment and the working style which I think is indicative of the culture.
This experience has entirely cemented for me my desire to be a commercial lawyer. All the people I spoke to were so intelligent and inspiring in their work, from corporate lawyers to the specialist pro-bono team. Working at DLA Piper would be a dream for the future after this experience.
The firm offered to pay travel expenses and if we lived more than 60 minutes away, students also had a hotel paid for them by the firm. While we weren't paid for the days at the firm, we didn't need to buy anything for the days we were there as all food was provided - 3 meals a day!
The social opportunities were good and we had a number of networking lunches/drinks where we could talk to trainees and associates to discuss what their jobs entailed. It was a very valuable experience talking to people who have gone through what we want to go through so DLA were great at giving us that opportunity.
This wasn't something that was really talked about. I asked a lot of the trainees about work life balance though as that is important to me and some magic circle firms don't have that. All answers were extremely positive. We did find out about travel opportunities with the firm though.
Absolutely. I would recommend this to anyone considering a legal career. It was such a good insight into one of the largest global law firms and yet I still felt valued as an individual on this experience. It was a wonderful experience, from a law perspective and from meeting other new people.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
29th March 2018