The insight was a good general introduction to the firm. The people were friendly and welcoming, and they were always keen and willing to answer my questions. However, a lot of the time was spent doing busy work or just generally trying to stretch out pretty simple tasks. The days should be broken up with more talks, or there should be made a concerted effort to ensure the work is available for us to do.
I had a talk about placement objectives at the very beginning of my placement. From the very beginning the work I was given was clearly geared towards helping me meet and surpass those objectives. This made me feel very valued because it showed I was being listened to and could be trusted to take on a good level of responsibility.
Both my associate supervisor and two trainee buddies were very helpful. They were open to answering questions and giving instructions regardless of how busy they themselves seemed to be. They were also happy to go deeper into a task, by which I mean give out initial instructions and then answer my 'apropos of nothing' type questions to deepen my understanding.
I have had an interest in corporate or commercial law for a while now and I think the skills I have gained and observed during this placement will be used and improved on throughout my career. I think I have a good idea now of what my weaknesses are, and how I can improve them to further my overall abilities.
We were given a lot of information before starting the placement which was very useful. During the placement the graduate recruitment team were very responsive again. However, social events aside, we just spent two weeks sat at a desk with no real way to see any more of the firm. Including more departmental talks etc would help break the days up and ensure that there is nearly always things for us to be doing.
People were friendly and kind. They were open to questions and to helping me learn. They also got me involved in the general collegiate office banter and made me feel part of the team. I did feel as though I was always the one making the introductions though, which could be interpreted as a little standoffish or uninterested from the departmental teams.
The setting of specific objectives is an excellent idea that I have not come across before. It was also good to see that it was not just lip service - I had regular catch ups to make sure I was working towards them and was on track to meet or surpass them.
I feel it was a very good insight. I felt comfortable in the office and feel it would be a nice place to work each day. The firm's policies and the way they encourage a work/life balance is also reassuring. It is difficult to comment on the work however, because there simply was not enough of it.
The culture is excellent and it seems that people really do buy into it from the bottom up. And I say this not simply meaning that people 'drink the Cool Aid' because they feel they have to. It seems as if the firm has a clear culture and admirable objectives and that anyone and everyone in the workplace is working as a team to achieve them.
The scheme was a good introduction when it comes to corporate law. It is an area that I have experienced before and I know now that it is an area I wish to pursue. I am unsure whether the firm is the one from me however, as I have some tough decisions to make.
We were paid well, slightly above market rate in fact. The payment of the extra holiday day was certainly a welcome addition. All reasonable expenses were paid and paid promptly at that. It was clear how and when we would be paid and what information needed to be provided by us ahead of time.
These were sparse. During the placement we were mainly able to meet with trainees and newly qualified solicitors if we were lucky. Being able to meet with people more senior and people who had been at the firm for a longer period of time would have been a better overall introduction to the firm.
The networking events were fun and well organised. The trainees, especially the social reps, did a really excellent job in this regard and should be commended for it. However, it was made clear that all of the events were being run 'on a budget' and this did not leave the right impression in my opinion.
There was some information available and the trainees were willing to talk about this. Information was also provided in the induction handbook, which was a useful resource. However, most of this information had to be sourced ourselves using the intranet. This is not how I had imagined using my time within the firm.
I would yes. I feel that my friends could gain a lot from it. It was an interesting experience and I can see why very many people are happy working with the firm. There is nothing that happened during the placement that has put me off the firm or that means I would not recommend the placement.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)