Learning and helping out in Law firm.
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement at Shoosmiths. I was welcomed very warmly by everyone at the firm and made to feel comfortable and at ease. I was given a great deal of real legal work to do, and could see the impact of my actions on clients' cases. I was given exposure to numerous departments and enjoyed each one.
Employees at Shoosmiths go a long way to make you feel comfortable and as though you're already - and have been for quite some time - a full-fledged member of the team. You aren't alienated or treated differently; everyone is eager to support you and ensure you enjoy your time at the firm.
I was given clear instructions on each task I was assigned. Any difficulties which I then had with any particular task were met with support. Wherever I sought to complete a task, I would use my initiative and this was always met with praise, even if I ran into errors along the way.
This has been a highly relevant experience which, although unlikely to benefit me in my degree studies (partially because I have completed my degree studies), has given me an invaluable set of skills and experiences which I know I'll carry on with me and implement throughout my career from beginning to end.
The week was quite well structured, with various deadlines placed throughout the week. There were always upcoming and impending tasks which were made clear in advance, and where they weren't support was given to make up for having to reschedule any planned work which had been interrupted by virtue of a more pressing matter.
The atmosphere in the office is good, with everyone being friendly and welcoming. Staff are eager to work but not afraid to interact with one another. You are given a great deal of flexibility in the programme and considerable independence, which means - when combined with the friendliness - the atmosphere is positive.
I was given considerable training and development from the moment I set foot in the building. Staff are keen to ensure you're provided with the tools you need to succeed. Where there are gaps in knowledge or understanding, staff are always helpful and happy to fill you in so that you receive training on-the-go where necessary.
The placement gave me an encompassing insight into what it would be like full-time at the firm. My trainee was always keen to explain to me what their regular day looked like and informed me of their tasks for the day, which I often had a role in. I was also given experience in different departments, meaning regardless of which department I went into I would have an idea of what to expect in future.
Shoosmiths' culture became unambiguously clear through my placement at the firm. The firm is bright, modern, friendly and collaborative. This is instilled in you from the start of the placement and you can see it everywhere you turn in the organisation. Everyone operates with the core values at heart which emphasises the company culture significantly.
The content of each day was fairly helpful in deciding on future career path. Since I was given so much exposure this undoubtedly helped. That being said, due to the length of the placement there was insufficient time to definitively state whether or not - for example - a particular department is within my future.
The duration of the placement was one week in length. I was paid £295 for the placement in its entirety. Expenses would be reimbursed if it was necessary for client work (for example travel expenses to see a client). Travel expenses to and from work or lunch expenses were not reimbursed.
Aside from the obvious networking opportunities from just speaking to individuals in the firm throughout the day, there were further opportunities to network such as the partner drinks event on the Friday evening after work, as well as during a conference, as well as during and after the team brief.
The events were entirely positive and presented a unique opportunity to meet new people at the firm and learn more about them and their route into Shoosmiths. Food and drink were regularly provided as expected, and overall the opportunities were positive. I met people from all different corners of the firm, thus the networking opportunities fulfilled their purpose.
Part of my assignment for the week involved an element of activities with employees out of work, so I became familiar with that. Additionally, just from networking and gaining an insight into the firm from various individuals' experiences it became clear there are various opportunities and teams to get involved with extracurricularly.
I would highly recommend this placement. Shoosmiths is an excellent firm with a pleasant atmosphere, friendly culture, and supportive staff. There are many opportunities to learn and develop, and you are given plentiful training and development to ensure you succeed in your short time at the firm. I have thoroughly enjoyed my Shoosmiths placement.