two week work experience in a city law firm.
I really enjoyed the two weeks. I managed to experience a wide variety of tasks, from redacting documents and amending SPAs, to getting the change to draft an engagement letter and coverage opinion. So I was challenged.
However, I think the experience could have benefitted from more socials or talks in order to break up the week. Though it allowed us a lot of time in the departments, I bonded less with the trainees and fellow vac schemers.
I was always included where there were team meetings or departmental events. For example I was able to attend the monthly departmental update which went through the financials of the firm and their strategy moving forward. This was a great insight into the department as a business.
I was also asked to attend a client meeting in the second week, which involved clients, a QC and 3 RPC lawyers. I felt that it was a great opportunity and was very grateful to be allowed to not only tag along but also actively take the meeting attendance notes.
In each task I was given, the trainee would ensure I had clear instructions and the relevant resources most of the time. Sometimes I did feel lost and left to do a task without much guidance, however that allowed me to use my own initiative to tackle the challenge. Also support was always available, and I felt that I truly could as questions as I was doing the work if I was stuck.
I had a really comprehensive experience of working in a law firm as a whole. From the work of a trainee, to even more responsibility equivalent to that of an associate (without the consequences). This will put me in good stead to facing similar tasks in the future, especially when I come to do my training.
We were given a clear schedule at the start of the scheme, which was followed throughout the 2weeks. This meant we always knew where we were meant to be and what we were meant to be doing. However, it also factored in a lot of time to 'work in departments' which gave us a lot of flexibility and scope to see what was going on in our individual departments and take part in that. Such as going to a court hearing, or a departmental update meeting, or a client meeting.
It was definitely a professional and focused scheme, with most of the attention on the work we got to do and try. The socials were fun but sparse. I enjoyed the company of my fellow vac schemers, but we were all very busy and did not bond as much as my experience in other firms.
We had two workshops and three networking events. There was not much on personal training and development. The speakers at the talks were also very busy and often had to rush off. We spent most of the time learning from the trainees (or working in our departments getting experience and development that way).
The scheme really tried to give us full working days in our seats, and did not try and shorten the days with late starts/events. I really felt like I was an employee of the firm. I was also given real work to do, with deadlines that meant I had a schedule to abide to and expectations to meet.
I really got to experience what the culture of the firm was like, from interactions with colleagues in my seat, to networking lunches getting to know other lawyers in other departments. We were also encouraged to get to know the trainees, and by the end of the scheme I knew them all reasonably well and found it easy to get on with them all. The firm's intranet also shows a lot of the events outside of work that everyone gets involved in, which shows how collegiate and friendly the whole firm is.
Spending the length of time we have on the scheme, the day to day tasks really informed me as to whether I enjoyed the typical roles of a trainee. I was given tasks that had been given to trainees by more senior lawyers, therefore I gained a very clear idea of the type of work I would be doing if I were to continue with this career path.
There were also plenty of opportunities away from my desk, such as shadowing the outdoor clerk on court runs.
there was a limit set for expenses.
We had so many opportunities to network, by the end we had all run out of questions to ask. We were also encouraged to contact people and organise our own networking coffees with those that could answer any questions we had about a department/issue that we was not part of the schedule of the scheme.
In our seats, there were also organised coffees with our supervisors and trainee buddies.
Quite varied. Networking involved a networking lunch and two speed networking events. The attendees varied from trainees and paralegals and the outdoor clerk to associates and senior lawyers.
The social event was just with trainees with not HR present. It was a nice way to relax and get to know everyone early on in the scheme.
This was not a point highlighted to use specifically, but again we had access to the firm's intranet and internal news which broadcasted events firm wide. Occasionally events were directly emailed to us as well.
I think these events are more obvious/broadly advertised to those that work in the firm.
Thoroughly enjoyed the vacation scheme and getting to know the firm. It is a really relaxed and friendly work environment, and every person has been very accommodating and helpful throughout. The quality of work is a focus of the HR team.
This is great legal work experience, and you do get to try proper trainee work.