Assisting fee earners with their roles within the firm as well as handling my own files.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement. The firm's employees embody its values- everyone is approachable and happy to help each other. It was a great way to see if the firm would be a good fit for me. Everyone took the time to chat to me and talk about their experience in the firm.
The senior people at the firm were keen to get to know me and let me ask questions. It is clear the firm cares about its trainees and junior legal professionals.
I then had a catch up with a real estate senior associate (Brian West) to discuss the different types of real estate work Shoosmiths is involved in. We also discussed the training contract process and his experience at Shoosmiths.
I sat down with one of the firm's partners to review work I had completed throughout the week. I was encouraged to think about the importance of being business minded and providing a simple solution to the client. I felt confident approaching people to ask questions and was encouraged to raise queries if I had any.
I also received a called from a member of the HR team mid-week to check I was having an enjoyable experience.
I have already completed my degree and solicitors exams. The skills I have learnt i.e. networking, interviewing, presenting and commercial awareness will assist me in my future career as a solicitor in many ways. For example networking with clients and taking a commercial approach to client issues.
The week was well structured. I was given an assignment to complete before close of play on Wednesday and a presentation/project to complete for Friday. The trainees were also given a budget to take me for lunch. It was a challenging week but made easier by the supportive and friendly atmosphere.
Excellent, everyone was friendly and seemed to take a genuine interest in me. Senior members of the team found time in their days to discuss my interests and tell me about their own experiences in law. There does not appear to be a hierarchy at the firm which makes everyone feel at ease.
I was given one on one time with trainees, partners and associates to discuss legal work.
We were also provided with documentation to assist with our assignments and projects.
It would have been good to attend a training session or seminar at the firm. I understand there was one whilst I was with the firm. It could be worth including this on placement schedules in the future.
I was given real work and exposure to real clients. I feel as though I was treated as a trainee. It was a great insight into how junior people are valued within the firm. It was particularly nice regularly having lunch with the trainees and becoming familiar with their schedules.
I was fortunate enough to attend the annual team talk given by Peter Duff whilst on placement. This was invaluable and demonstrated to me how important it was for the firm, that its employees supported each another. The firm lived up to its reputation for having a friendly and inclusive culture.
As mentioned, I was given real work, similar to that which a trainee might be asked to do. This was a great way of seeing the types of skills I would use in different fields of law.
Sitting in the litigation team was incredibly informative. It was great to learn about the practicalities of a making a claim.
The pay is lower than the firm's paralegal rate but not dissimilar to the rates of other placements. The firm also provided a budget for a team lunch and the team's partner kindly covered the cost of the team lunch.
I can appreciate some placement students are new to office life and cannot offer the team as much support as others. Arguably you are also paid in experience.
I was tasked with networking in the firm. My understanding is that we are to be assessed on our ability to network effectively.
This was however incredibly easy given everyone's personable nature.
I arranged a team lunch to which most people attended. I also asked partners to talk to me about their work to assist with my presentation.
The lunch was really enjoyable. People within the firm appear to have genuine friendships and make efforts to get along with each other. I felt I easily fitted in with the team. I did not feel as though I was being assessed which is rare during placements. This helped me to relax.
I was told about the office's annual quiz and asked to sell tickets for this which was a great way to network and discuss other events put on by the firm. People told me about the firm's Summer and Christmas parties as well as monthly drinks.
Unfortunately there were no such events on whilst I was on placement.
Yes- it is a great way to get a feel for the firm's culture. I feel confident having done this placement that I would enjoy working at the firm. This is important when considering signing up to a two year contract.
It is also a good way to make an impression on the firm and build a case for them to offer you a job.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
8th June 2018
£22,000 - £23,999