Shadowing Corporate team
I thoroughly enjoyed the vacation scheme. I sat with the Corporate department for a week, and not only did it give me a better understanding of the practical work that the departments do, but also enabled me to see the true culture of the firm, and how the different departments pull together to generate work.
I felt extremely valued. I was introduced to everyone at the firm, and each person greeted me with a smile and took an interest on my journey in to a career in law.
I was entrusted with the completion of real tasks and was given constructive and honest feedback after each one, which was extremely valuable.
I was invited to various networking events and socials, which made me feel like I belonged to the Shoosmiths team.
I was paired with a current trainee who set me tasks and gave me constant support and guidance throughout the week. She was always on hand to answer questions and encouraged me to network and build relationships outside of the department that I was placed in.
The Graduate Recruitment team were in contact every day to either set tasks or just make sure that everything was ok. This was really reassuring.
It made me understand how easy networking could be if it was with the right people. The networking events I had attended prior to my placement had always seemed forced and I found some people difficult to engage with. At Shoosmiths everyone was engaging, interested and keen to answer questions. The placement developed my ability to work to deadlines and also increased my research and presentation skills.
The placement was extremely well structured. When I arrived on Monday morning I received and email from Graduate Recruitment setting a ‘Mini Assignment’ due for the Wednesday and a presentation to be given on the Friday. I had to balance these around other tasks set by the Corporate department. This was great because it meant that I always had something to do and I never felt as though I was doing something just for the sake of filling time.
The culture of the firm really shone through at an office meeting. It was an opportunity for each department to tell the office about their achievements and what they were working on. What was particularly noticeable was that every single department congratulated a member of their team for doing well, or thanked another department for helping them. The teamwork and appreciation was really obvious, which I found inspiring given how busy the office was and how hard everyone was working.
The trainee that I was paired with took the time to explain every task in full to me, but also how it would fit in to her daily routine. She explained the type of work she would execute and the importance of it in the bigger picture which I found to be invaluable. It was great to see how a small piece of work was so important on a bigger scale.
There was plenty of opportunity to discuss the duties of different departments with the solicitors working in them. Although I was sat with the Corporate department, I took the opportunity to speak with various members of the Planning team to find out more about the day to day running of the department. It was a sector I had heard about but had not had the opportunity to encounter before.
I was paid £275 for the week. The company also paid for me to participate in activities during networking events, including a ticket for rounders with the Junior Lawyers Division as well as food. They also paid for my lunch at a networking event with the current trainees and new solicitors.
I would definitely recommend the opportunity to a friend, mainly due to the culture of the firm. Every single person was working hard but you could tell they wanted to be there. I felt like part of the team and really wanted to impress. I think it provided an excellent opportunity to experience working in a law firm first hand.