Summer Vacation Scheme Student at DLA Piper

Top Employer
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Review Date
Commercial Law Corporate Law Intellectual Property Law Property Law Sports and Media Law
DLA Piper is a Top Employer


About You
The Company
Everything Else

About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

The vacation scheme was on the whole a lot of fun. There were parts which felt fairly mundane - 8 hours of talks for the first week followed by an hour every day for the second and third week felt a bit too much, but the work given in our respective seats and the staff at the firm made the experience wholly enjoyable.
3 /5

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

Often due to the nature of the work at a law firm some of the tasks given to vacation scheme students was fairly mundane. However, whilst mundane, I was always given work that I felt was being used to a degree by the fee-earners. Moreover, the ethos of the firm was extremely positive. The firm seemed to be interested in your development as potential future trainees, and were not afraid in showing your value to them.
4 /5

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

The support from partners to paralegals was absolutely top quality. The staff seemed to care about your presence, and were genuinely interested in what you had to say. The feedback recieved was overly positive, but helpfully critical, providing strengths and weaknesses. The graduate recruitment team were also always on hand to help with any issues that may have arisen.
4 /5

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

Whilst I didn't feel as if I learnt any new skills, I definitely believe that I developed my already existing skill sin a significant way. For example, I believe to have developed my consolidation skills to the point that is required in a law firm - i.e. extremely long to a maximum of a few lines!!
4 /5

The Company

5. How well structured was the insight?

As mentioned, the first week seemed fairly arbitrary. Whilst the talks were interesting and engaging, the fact that we were talked at all-day, every-day for a week was certainly too much - by the end of the week, every single vacation schemer was itching to get into a seat and start work. On a positive note, this could be seen as being quite nice, as it made that first jump into practice extremely rewarding.
3 /5

6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The atmosphere was a little bit tense, arguably due to the fact there is no interview at the end of the scheme for your training contract - you are being constantly assessed. Whilst the constant assessment is particularly true at any firm, it felt very real here. Nevertheless, by the end of the scheme, everyone came into their own, and left the last day (before results!) on a high!
3 /5

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

This depended greatly on the line-manager assigned to you. I have heard horror stories of some of the students on the scheme being assigned a line manager who was hardly ever there - however, in my experience, both of mine were lovely, helpful, and interested in my development. Both gave me the opportunity to improve, and assisted me in doing so.
5 /5

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 practice group insight sessions often were counter-intuitive in this sense. The people coming to talk, whilst particularly interesting, were often so senior that they were out of touch as to the life that trainees live in the firm. Nevertheless, trainees in the department often made an effort to socialise and network with the vacation schemers, and thus, these people were the primary means by which that information was delivered.
3 /5

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

The company culture is, in my opinion, the thing that has been displayed the most. This is surely because the firm is most proud of the culture created - and rightly so. It is a culture that cares about it's people, and that has been on full display for the whole three weeks.
5 /5

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

Extremely helpful. It gave me an insight into exactly what I wanted from a firm, and what I didn't, as well as what seat I would potentially like to qualify in to. Whilst arguably this didn't come directly from the vacation scheme, the firm certainly is not afraid of displaying its strengths and weaknesses to you, and this assists greatly in formulating such a decision.
5 /5

Everything Else

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

I was paid an extremely reasonable amount of money, was provided breakfast and lunch for the first week, and only lunch for the second and third week, which was particularly generous of the firm.

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

The opportunities to meet the employees were often made not given. Often, this was done by the employees talking to us in the form of a presentation. The two social events provided a small opportunity to meet with representatives, but ultimately, a lot of the responsibility of meeting people was left down to you. It was the vacation schemers job to walk round the office introducing themselves to all the employees on the floor and networking - not necessarily too bad a thing mind you.
3 /5

13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

There were very very few social events. Over the course of three weeks there were two after-work dinners, and nothing else. There was a welcome drinks on the first night in the office, but other than that, the vacation schemers were organising drinks events by themselves. In terms of networking events, this was provided in the first week by a networking breakfast every day.
2 /5

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

These were communicated to us fairly briefly in presentations throughout the week, but personally, I found out about most of the opportunities through speaking to staff. There are multiple sports teams and 'societies' which seem to be a great way of meeting new people, as well as other charity initiatives etc.
3 /5

15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

Absolutely. On the whole I learnt a lot, and it affirmed my belie that the firm is an extremely desirable place to work. The work was interesting, the people were lovely, and the firm on the whole valued your time there. Whilst perhaps there was a lack of socials, I have noted various fee-earners remarking the same thing, and perhaps this is something they will look to change going forward.
4 /5