Vacation Placement at Shoosmiths

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Reading South East
Review Date
Less than £ 10,000


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

Role Description

Summer vacation placement in the Commercial team.

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

Very much so - I felt treated like a real employee and exposed to the work in a really natural way. I was kept busy and able to get involved in a real range of cases. The people were friendly and very welcoming and happy to answer any questions I had about the work or the firm in general.


2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?

I felt as if they were really happy to have me there for the week - nothing was too much trouble and I never felt in the way or surplus to requirements. The firm are great at giving real work to get involved in, so you absolutely feel as if you’re contributing in your time there.


3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?

Shoosmiths were very good at giving the right level of support - all tasks were explained clearly initially and I felt comfortable asking questions both to members of the team I was in and to HR. It was great as they did not spoon feed information; I was able to act on my own initiative which helped me to feel as if I was really working there.


4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I finished a non-law degree in 2013 so cannot answer that part of the question. However I definitely think that my time with Shoosmiths has helped me to focus my mind on the type of firm I would prefer to work at and therefore has been really useful for applications. I also have been able to better understand what aspects of law I think I prefer - again this is incredibly helpful.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

The placement was really well planned out and organised so that I was never left with nothing to do. The work provided by the recruitment team was set out clearly with set deadlines which really helped to structure the week. The case work from the team I was based in was a little more ad-hoc as it depended what was suitable for me to get involved in.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

Staff were really friendly and there was a generally relaxed atmosphere - people were happy to chat when they had a spare minute. I got the impression it was very much a firm where everyone got on well. Several members of my team however were out of the office or working from home across the week which did mean some days felt a little quiet.


7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

Shoosmiths were very generous in terms of the time and staff resource they invested in my week there. From trainees right up to Partners, there was a real sense that people were happy to be involved - for example attending the presentation. It was really clear they saw the vacation placement as something really important to their recruitment process, rather than something they just felt they should do.


8. To what extent did the insight help you to understand what it would be like to have a full time role with the company or firm?

The week was really valuable in helping me to see what a permanent role with Shoosmiths would be like. I felt staff were really genuine with how they interacted with me and with others, and didn't feel anything was filtered out or different to a normal week. This was really key for me as I wanted to experience a really authentic time there to understand the firm.


9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?

The week was incredibly helpful in allowing me to understand what the culture and values are at Shoosmiths. The team was really down-to-earth, friendly and approachable for questions and I got the impression this was how the whole business operated. To me, the firm seemed as one big team rather than lots of smaller departments and there was a really open and relaxed atmosphere.


10. How valuable was the content in helping you to decide on your future career path?

The experience I had during the week I think will really help me to determine where I'd like to move forward. This is true both of the work itself and the type of firm I'd like to target. The work was really interesting and I definitely could see myself working along these lines in the future - I liked how varied it was and how it needed a real range of skills. Additionally, I think I know now that I'd love to work for a firm that's got its own personality and values - since that seems to create a really positive working environment.


Other Information

11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?

I was paid a very fair weekly wage - especially considering how much of the week was for my benefit!

12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?

Yes - I was able to interact with employees during lunches which was great, as well as the firm putting on a lunch with the trainees for us to ask them questions and find out about their experience. The trainees also took us for a drink on one night which again was really useful to chat to them outside of the office. My final day I also got to have a drink with my team.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

The firm were really great at making sure we were included in what was happening that week - I was invited for drinks on a couple of evenings with different parts of the firm and able to go for lunch with trainees on a couple of days.


14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?

In some of my chats with the trainees they were really enthusiastic about the social and charity events that the firm puts on. These seemed really varied which was great - from sporting activities to young professional networks to the team away days that each department puts on. There seems to be lots going on to get involved in!


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

I would absolutely recommend a placement with Shoosmiths to a friend - I found it really valuable in getting an honest view of the firm and its culture. The firm lets you get involved in real cases on a range of topics and you're never short of something to do! It's really clear the whole firm values its placement scheme and you can see the time and effort that goes into organising it and making sure both the students and the firm get the most out of our time there.