I thoroughly enjoyed my summer internship with DLA Piper. I was based in a regional office for the work experience weeks so the week-long London induction was an amazing opportunity to get to know other interns from the 7 UK offices. We were given a number of excellent talks from top leaders in the firm, including CEO [This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyPlacement Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions] and UK Managing Partner [This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyPlacement Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions]. Sessions with these speakers proved that, while leading in providing excellent legal services to its clients, DLA Piper is a firm with inspiring, committed and down-to-earth people at its core. The induction week also included Professional Skills sessions and an insight into Responsible Business and Pro Bono within the firm. The two mini-seats in my regional office were also excellent, working alongside friendly and helpful colleagues and getting a real insight into the everyday workings of the firm.
I felt very valued throughout the internship. From the start, [This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyPlacement Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions] in the Graduate Recruitment team highlighted that the recruitment process had been very competitive and we were already in a role we should be very proud of. I genuinely felt a supportive atmosphere from the start of the placement, quickly bonding with both my peers from the regional office and students from other parts of the UK. [This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyPlacement Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions] in the Graduate Recruitment Team were approachable, friendly and helpful throughout. I also felt a great deal of support from both my Line Managers and the wider team. From support staff to Partners, everyone was friendly and happy to share their experiences and advice.
I felt supported in completing the work tasks set during my mini-seats. Both Line Managers created an environment where I felt comfortable and happy to ask more questions. When a task wasn't quite right, I was given the support and guidance to learn from my mistake for future. I often asked colleagues other than my Line Manager for their thoughts on my work and picked up tasks along the way for other colleagues. I was also impressed by how encouraging and kind all members of my teams were.
I have completed my undergraduate studies already, however I still feel what I learned was immensely helpful. In terms of my Litigation seat, I gained a great insight into managing client expectations. In Real Estate, I learned many practical skills in preparing for a transaction, from drafting, to proofreading, resolving client queries and conducting research. I also feel the internship has improved my confidence and made me very sure of my decision to train in an international commercial law firm.
I found the insight to be very well structured. The first week in London provided an excellent overview into the culture at the firm, with interesting speakers, workshops and events. The tour of our regional office at the end of the first week bridged the gap into our work experience and put us at ease for moving into our teams. During the mini-seats, setting objectives at the beginning of the week, with an appraisal at the end of the week, was a great opportunity to reflect on our own work and integration to the team.
The general atmosphere on the internship was excellent. It was fun, exciting and inspiring, as well as being hugely informative in terms of legal knowledge and the culture and values of the firm. I would highly recommend this internship. It more than exceeded my expectations and I feel I have a strong understanding of what it means to work at DLA Piper as a result of this experience.
The firm is very focused on personal training and development and this was made clear from the start of the internship. The level of effort put into the intership and its quality is testament to DLA Piper's commitment to people from the earliest stage of their careers. The induction week included Professional Skills training sessions and lots of workshops with group working involved. We also had to work in groups to prepare a client pitch. This was a great chance to build soft skills and build commercial awareness.
The internship definitely helped me to understanding what a full time role with the firm would be like. We were given many tasks a Trainee would be expected to complete and were really treated like one of the team. We were also included in a number of firm-wide social events, including attending a sports match and drinks.
I feel I have finished the internship with a very strong understanding of the culture at DLA Piper. Nobody denies that this is a firm where people work very hard, working for some of the most high-profile companies on high-profile work. Despite this, it is not an environment that feels unsupportive in any way. There is great cohesion within the teams I worked in and everyone is friendly, helpful and approachable. DLA Piper proves that a firm can provide amazing opportunities for training and career development while still being a fun and supportive place to work. As a firm, the commitment to the wider community is clear through its emphasis on Pro Bono work and increasingly its Responsible Business work.
The experience was hugely valuable in confirming my aspirations to become an international commercial lawyer. This was the first internship I had completed at a firm like DLA Piper and it was an inspiring, insightful and enjoyable experience. The challenges faced in this line of work is not covered up by employees, who admit they work long hours and must cope with the pressures of demanding clients. Despite this, most have told me they love their jobs and the opportunities DLA Piper has offered them, both with regards to their careers and achieving work/life balance and goals outside of work.
Transport fares were covered to and from London for the induction week. A hotel room was provided for the duration, in a convenient location with great transport links and facilities. We were also provided with meals every day of the induction week and lunch during our regional office experience. Travel expenses to the assessment centre for the internship was also covered.
There were lots of opportunities for networking throughout the internship. During the induction, we had opportunities to network with other students during breakfast and lunch. There was a networking dinner where we met Partners in the firm also. In the regional office, we were encouraged to take time to get to know individuals in the team. We also attended a Diversity breakfast where we met people from different committees. We were also encouraged to socialise with Trainees at various after-work activities.
The networking and social event opportunities were excellent. As well as all the scheduled activities, we also attended a sports match for a DLA Piper team and attending a drinks reception for a colleague leaving the firm. At all times, I felt accepted as one of the team and enjoyed getting to know new people.
The Trainee group in particular highlighted many different activities they take part in. We attended a Social and Charities committee meeting which provided insight into much of the voluntary work carried out in the firm. We also attended a sports match to gain an insight into team sport opportunities. We completed Pro Bono research work to get involved in the Pro Bono culture of the firm. We also attended drinks with Trainees who confirmed this is a sociable and supportive place to be a Trainee.
I would highly recommend this insight to a friend. It has been a learning curve in terms of both soft skills and legal knowledge, but it has been thoroughly enjoyable throughout. Even the more stressful elements of the placement, such as the group presentation pitch, were fun and helpful to learning in the end. This is a great way to get to know more about the brilliant culture at DLA Piper and the opportunities available at this leading firm.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
13th July 2018