Having not had any legal experience prior to this vacation scheme, it proved incredibly useful! It gave me a thorough insight into life as a trainee solicitor, and Hogan Lovells as a firm. We were given legal work to complete (mostly research tasks) which help give an idea of life as a trainee. Coming from a non-law background it helped me make my decision to pursue a career in corporate law.
Hogan Lovells has a very supportive work environment which made even vacation scheme students feel like valued members of the team. Staff, (even Partners) went out of their way to make you feel valued, and that your opinion was valid. I was very lucky in my two seats as everybody was incredibly supportive.
We were allocated a buddy (a first year trainee), who would email us and meet up with us if we had any questions and advice. I was fortunate, as my buddy was incredibly helpful and felt more like a friend that I could go to for any problems or questions I had. However, I believe it depends on your buddy as to how much support you get. One criticism would be a little more support for the final interview, as I feel everyone felt a little bit confused as to what was required of them and what we were being accessed on. All in all though, supportive staff, and a fantastic HR team.
I think the most useful part of the experience was understanding what the different departments did and what the working culture was like in each department. This was really helpful because it gave me a small idea of which seats I would like to do as a trainee, and what it actually means to be a trainee in EU Competition, or International Arbitration etc.
Very well structured vacation scheme. At the start we were given a book and timetable with all the sessions that we would attend, what was required of us and how we could get the most out of the vacation scheme as possible. The HR team made sure that we weren't just spending all of our time in our seats, but we did fun activities as a group and attend lots of talks that went further into life as a trainee.
In general a fantastic atmosphere, everybody was super friendly and super supportive! Events were organised for us like going to the escape rooms, going for after work drinks, having a finale dinner at a fancy hotel in Mayfair. My only criticism would be that even though it was emphasised from the beginning that we were not competing against each other, it did feel at times like a competition. All in all though, a really positive and friendly atmosphere.
Training sessions were given to develop our commercial awareness, we were constantly given advice by senior lawyers how to get a head of the game in our studies. HR gave us feedback on our vacation scheme interview, and how we could improve for our training contract interview. Only improvement would be more information on what the training contract interview entailed as people had very different experiences.
This was the most useful part of the vacation scheme. I was given a real insight into life as a trainee solicitor not just in general BUT specifically at Hogan Lovells. Mixing with the other trainees really helped, and there buddy system really helped you understand what a career at Hogan and Lovells would involve. A lot of emphasis was placed on understanding the working culture there in order to see if it was right for you.
Definitely helped me understand the company culture. I felt the other trainees were honest about what it was like to work there, and weren't just telling us the perks of the job. Obviously life of a trainee lawyer can involve long hours, however most of the people I spoke to said it completely depended on the department and there was definitely not a face time culture here like there are at other firms. It genuinely felt like a very supportive, and friendly place.
Very valuable, as before I wasn't 100% certain on life as a solicitor. In general, it helped me understand the daily life of a solicitor and what work you would actually be involved in. The only thing that could be improved is more information on the different seats, and perhaps the slight different working cultures of the departments.
Fair payment for a vacation scheme (in line with other large commercial vacation schemes). Reimbursed for any interview travel expenses, and all the 'outside of work' activities organised by the firm were paid for including meals, drinks, taxi's etc! Would however be slightly difficult trying to rent somewhere in London on that budget for those two weeks!
Yes. There was always the opportunity to meet up for coffee with other employees, or HR, in order to understand more about the job and the recruitment process. Everyone, even though they were SUPER busy, made time to accommodate you. For my second seat my supervisor was a partner which was incredible, and even though he was very busy he dedicated a lot of his time to making sure I understood his area of practice, and if I had any questions.
Lots of social and networking events, mostly with the other trainees. They were good, normally in a different location e.g. bar, pub, hotel. People were pretty happy to give you their email if you had any questions. The social events were fun, and at the social events it didn't feel like you were being accessed, they definitely encouraged you to be yourself.
A little, although there wasn't too much information on outside of work activities. We were shown the gym, and I think when we were shown road their was some signs with sports team. This is an area that could definitely be improved as I don't think there was much information on company clubs etc.
100%! Especially if you're not 100% sure if you want to be a solicitor. They emphasis that we're meant to be accessing Hogan Lovells as a firm as much as they're looking at us to see if we would be suitable as a future trainee. They make it clear that they want to find people that fit the working culture, and if you don't that's absolutely fine, it's just not the right firm for you. It helped me make up my mind to pursue a career in commercial law.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
24th September 2018