First Year Workshop attendee at Herbert Smith Freehills

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date
Commercial Law


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

Role Description

Participated in a variety of activities such as negotiation workshops and networking.
Proof-read a due diligence report and learnt what is expected of a Trainee Solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills.

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I really enjoyed the insight, specifically the negotiation workshops. These aided me greatly in understanding the work of Herbert Smith Freehills. The networking event at Boundary was highly beneficial as it gave me the opportunity to talk to current Trainees and hear about their experiences at the firm, particularly in the firm's two main areas of Dispute Resolution and Corporate.


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

Everyone at the Firm was very welcoming and informative. Being given a task of proof-reading documentation whilst sat within the Corporate Department made me feel valued as I had been given an element of responsibility and therefore felt trusted. This also gave me an insight into the role of a Trainee at Herbert Smith Freehills.


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

Whilst participating in the negotiation workshops it was useful having a trainee or partner mediating as this allowed us to ask any questions regarding the scenario. The support offered was a good balance between informative and not too detailed in that it would prevent us from coming up with our own ideas.


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

Proof-reading documentation whilst sitting in the Corporate Department was beneficial in improving my understanding of the remedies for a breach of contract. This is an element of Contract Law that I am likely to be examined on in May. The negotiation workshops and advocacy talk were also highly beneficial in providing me with the knowledge and skills to enhance my mooting ability.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

The insight was very well structured as there was never a dull moment. Both days were very engaging and informative. The talks by partners, associates and trainee solicitors were very beneficial in aiding my understanding of the firm beyond the information provided on the website. Everything ran smoothly and there were no hiccups.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

Everyone I spoke to was very friendly and welcoming. I spoke to several Trainee Solicitors both whilst in the office and at the evening networking event. within both of these settings the atmosphere was very inclusive and friendly. I felt confident in asking questions and the networking event within a relaxed social environment helped foster this.


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

The workshops and shadowing activities greatly helped my personal development. I was able to see where the knowledge I am learning in my Law degree studies are practically applied within the legal profession. Specifically, contract law and the work of the Corporate Team in relation to the remedies that are available to parties in the occurrence of a breach of contract.


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 First Year Workshop greatly enhanced my understanding of the role of a Trainee Solicitor at HSF. The Trainee panel on Day One where Kingsley, Matthew and Charlie spoke about their day at work as a Trainee was very insightful. Here I was able to understand the level of responsibility given to Trainees as they progress through their Training Contract.


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

I learnt about the 'twin-engines' that drives the Firm- the Corporate Department and the Disputes Resolution Department. This gave me a greater understanding of the culture of HSF. Speaking to members of various departments and the Careers Fair on Day One was also highly beneficial in that it gave me an insight into the work of each department.
However, due to the event being very busy, we were only able to speak to departments briefly.


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

The event was highly insightful in helping me choose a future career path. I now have a greater understanding of the work of an international law firm and the work of a corporate or disputes resolution lawyer. I now understand that much of the work at HSF involves not just a knowledge of the law, but also a knowledge of risk management.


Other Information

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

My accommodation was paid for by Herbert Smith Freehills. I am still waiting for conformation in relation to the reimbursement of my travel costs.

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

The networking event at Boundary was very beneficial. The event allowed me to network with a variety of employees from across the Firm. I was able to gain valuable knowledge of the Firm's Vacation Scheme process for Trainee Solicitors, as well as an insight into the role of Associates, Senior Associates and Partners.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

Very well organised. As stated previously, the networking event at Boundary was very well tailored to the event. I was able to speak to Trainees from a range of seats and thus gain a clear insight into the role of a Trainee within these departments.

However I was unable to speak to any associates or partners at the event. However, I understand this may have been because HSF were also running their Spring Vacation Scheme at the same time and therefore many partners were unable to attend.


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

I learnt about the Firm's pro-bono work in White Chapel and how all Trainee Solicitors have to visit the centre every six weeks to advise visitors on issues such as housing. This is an element of the Firm I am very interested in. However, apart from this and the networking events designed for First Year Workshop and Vacation Attendees I did not hear about any other activities outside of work.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

Yes, there are several aspiring solicitors at Bangor University who are interested in the work of a city lawyer. The First Year Workshop provides attendees with a vast array of information relating to this line of work and how best to apply. The information provided regarding Vacation Scheme applications and Training Contracts were of great benefit in aiding an attendees understanding of what is expected of an applicant.