I enjoyed the experience of meeting my future colleagues and experiencing life within the law firm. Although a couple of weeks is not representative of life as a trainee, it was valuable to understand how day to day operations were conducted and it was a great way to meet other students.
As a vac scheme student, our time was very structured around various presentations and meetings, but enough time was left to work independently on tasks set by supervisors. Both of my supervisors made me feel valued and looped me into the work they were doing to help me understand it.
We were given many opportunities to talk to trainees and other employees about their experience within the firm, and I found that everyone was very happy to meet. During these meetings I was given a lot of guidance and advice that helped me choose the firm as my top choice.
I don't believe the vac scheme had much of an impact in my future work or studies, since this was too short a time to learn new skills. However, I did get a good insight into the commercial realities of working in a law firm that helped me in my next job.
The vac scheme was well structured because it gave enough of a solid timetable whilst allowing flexibility to work independently and network. The scheduling of networking evenings could have been better if they had been done later on in the weeks, since some vac schemers lived far away and couldn't stay out late.
The atmosphere was quite nice and relaxed because it was nearing the Christmas break and everyone was therefore relatively free to meet. The interactions with the other vac schemers was fun too and there wasn't a sense of malicious competition, everyone was very collaborative. The trainees were also more relaxed and took us out to lunch to welcome us.
A huge amount - once I was offered the training contract they paid my law school and some money each year to contribute to maintenance costs. However, there could be more investment in the cohorts as a whole, who don't meet each other formally until the LPC.
This was an important part of the interview, and it was made clear that a large part of the work entailed relatively dull processes. This was important in my decision because I valued the honesty of my coworkers and they also highlighted the fun aspects of the job.
A lot - the fact that people were so willing to talk and advise me demonstrated the friendliness of the firm. It was also valuable to see the expectations placed on trainees and vac schemers, since it was clear that there was a strong emphasis on work-life balance.
It was relatively useful to help me choose my career path. However, my insight into an alternative career helped me more because it was longer and I was given more realistic tasks of the everyday. It may be worth extending the programme to include a week of 'real' work experience without timetabled presentations to simulate the realities of work.
Yes - we were paid very reasonably for the two weeks. I had no expenses, but those that did were reimbursed.
Yes, many - we had scheduled evenings designed specifically to interact with trainees, and several lunches to network with partners. It was also strongly recommended that we contact people to meet for coffee, and this was always responded to quickly and positively.
The networking and social events were nice, and reflected the firm's culture. These events were very similar compared to other vac schemes. My only comment would be to maintain an event a year for future trainees in order to keep a stronger contact with the firm.
There was less emphasis on this than in previous work experiences I participated in, but the amenities of the office were highlighted to us (especially the gym). It was clear however that most colleagues had hobbies and activities outside of work that they did together, even if this was not necessarily under the umbrella of the firm.
Yes - generally a useful experience that gives a good insight into both the culture and the work of the firm. The weeks were well structured and balanced to help vac schemers decide whether they were suited to the firm, as well as being assessed.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
4th April 2019