One week placement in a law firm
I really enjoyed my one-week placement at Shoosmiths. Although I felt nervous before attending, I felt relaxed as soon as I joined the team because everyone was so welcoming.
I worked on a document review for an associate in the team. We sat down to look at the results I had found, and she was really appreciative of the time and effort I had put in. I felt valued because she took the time to talk through the work with me, and then sent on some comments to the client with very few amendments.
Loads! It was the best part about the week!
This was my first experience working in a law firm, so this has been really valuable for me in confirming my career choice as a solicitor. The practical application of the law during this week will help me to understand how to apply the theory I am learning on my degree.
Prior to the week I was provided with some recommended reading, and put in touch with my host team. On the week I received a timetable with a few events being held (lunchtime talks) but with spaces to include my own work too. The grad team contacted me by email every day with different information to help me get the most out of the week, and I also had a phonecall with them in the middle of the week.
Lots of businesses talk about culture, values, and how their people make the working environment good. I definitely think this is true for Shoosmiths.
On the first morning there was a HR and IT training session. Each day I received useful updates and information from graduate recruitment. There were a few lunch time sessions too, but the most useful training was the team taking the time to talk through different pieces of work with me.
I feel like I got to know the trainee group in this office really well which has given me a good insight into life at Shoosmiths - it has reaffirmed everything I had already seen on the firm's website and instagram.
You only get a glimpse into the culture through a website, so this placement immersed me in the culture. It was something that everyone I met talked about - so was really evident that this is a big thing to people at Shoosmiths.
I know that I am making the right choice for myself in pursuing a career as a solicitor.
I was paid for the weeks' work experience that I completed. I didn't have any travel expenses, because I live close to the office. But if I was required to travel to a client meeting, then I understand from the paperwork, that would have been reimbursed too.
I was set a project for the week which encouraged me to network with people outside of my team. I think this is what you make of it, and you have to go into your work experience prepared to put yourself out there. There were also lunchtime sessions and socials to get involved in. But by having lunch with other people / other placement candidates made me feel like I had met a lot of new people, and I've added them on LinkedIn so I can follow up with them in the future.
There were two evening events on the week when I completed my placement - I think this can be dependent on which week your placement falls. I got involved in a junior lawyer networking event, and attended a netball tournament too!
I was invited to attend a couple of evening events. I found out that it's very much what you make of it, but this seems like a really social office.