Winter Vacation Scheme Student at Herbert Smith Freehills

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date
Less than £ 10,000

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About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Herbert Smith Freehills for the period of two weeks which I was there. It was interesting to see the variety of work which is conducted across the firm and also to have the ability to learn from lawyers who are experts in their field. Applying their knowledge to my given tasks was satisfying.


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

Everyone I interacted with made sure they gave me time for my questions and ideas to be heard. Considering the lawyers at the firm are extremely busy and often working in time pressured environments it was invaluable to be able to gain first hand experience and advice from them all.


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

Throughout my two seats at the firm the support I received was second to none. I enjoyed the fact that the support came from a variety of areas. Supervisors were supportive in their instructions and allowing me to learn. For less legal issues and questions it was good to have a trainee buddy there to ask for advice and help when needed.


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

Having completed my degree in law it was helpful to be able to see a practical application of things I have had the opportunity to study at University. I believe the beginning elements of professional development which the firm took a significant interest in will deeply support me in the continuation of my legal career.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

The insight, in my opinion, was very well structure. While it may be possible to suggest that there was too much emphasis placed on department presentations I felt that this insight lended itself to giving a wide view of the diverse practice areas offered by the firm. It would have been difficult to get a true representation of the firm without this insight.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The general atmosphere was positive. Working in a stressful environment can sometimes suggest an air of negativity. I did not find this to be the case. Everyone I interacted with seemed positive in their outlook to the firm and the work the firm does. This atmosphere was continued throughout the social events conducted by the firm.


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

Throughout the scheme there were multiple points where the firm demonstrated its positive approach to employee development at all levels. On the scheme itself there was a talk specifically targeted for learning and development which I personally feel represents a long term commitment and investment in training as we are employed by the firm.


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 job of being a lawyer at a firm such as HSF I feel is too complex to be totally encapsulated in a two period. However, I do believe the scheme to a certain extent exposed me to the type of work and quality of work conducted by the firm's employees.


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

I believe the fact that I had the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of employees at differing levels gave me a good understanding of the company's culture. Everyone's values across the firm appeared similar and aligned to a common goal. Also, the sense of collaboration was apparent across everyone I worked with.


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

As I had held the intention of becoming a commercial lawyer prior to this scheme it certainly helped to solidify my intention of becoming a commercial lawyer in the future. The insight also allowed me to understand the wide variety of areas I could hope to go into if I was able to join the firm.


Other Information

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

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

There were several occasions, both organised for the scheme and within my departments for me to mix and work with a variety of people at differing levels across the firm. I very much valued the ability to talk to these people about their experiences in working for the firm, and the ability to ask questions.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

The opportunities varied from informal sessions to more formal drinks events with senior members of the firm in attendance. There were also several occasions where we as vacation scheme students got the ability to socialise which was helpful as it allowed us to learn from one another. The formal receptions were also helpful in showing how the senior members of the firm saw the business.


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

There was a talk about all of the wide variety of pro-bono tasks that if we were employed by the firm we could get involved in. I very much valued this insight as it represented HSF to be a firm which were about more than just providing legal services to their clients.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

I would be very willing to recommend this scheme to my friends. I believe it allowed me to gain an incredible insight to how the firm operated, the business it did and the manner in which its lawyers operated. If someone had the intention of working at HSF as a trainee lawyer I would very much recommend this experience.