The 3-day insight programme that I attended at DLA Piper was certainly very enjoyable, not only because of all the friendly representatives I met and the events that we participated in, but also because of all the different students I met from around the country. I would say that this programme organised by DLA has been the best one I've been on so far.
As students visiting the firm, we were fairly valued as DLA Piper organised for trainees, associates and partners to come interact with us and give talks. The best part was when they had 2 partners from the Hong Kong office come to talk to us because it made us feel valuable, and we were also given multiple Q&A sessions with trainees to ask about their experience as a solicitor in a global law firm.
We received a lot of guidance during the insight, especially regarding resumes, CVs and the application process for next year's internship programme at DLA Piper. We were also given talks by the Graduate Recruitment team and we could ask questions if we had any concerns about future applications and what we should and shouldn't do.
We participated in a commercial awareness exercise which involved interacting with different students and performing research to complete a fictional transaction, and the negotiation skills that I developed will definitely be useful if I am to become a commercial solicitor in the future. We also received lots of information about what being a solicitor trainee is like and these insights were extremely useful in helping me to decide if this is the career path for me.
The 3-day programme at DLA Piper was extremely well structured, with a clear timetable and set time for each section and event of the day. This timetable was given to every student at the start of the programme and was generally very accurate, and we were able to start at around 9:30 and finish by 5:00 on all three days.
Generally the atmosphere was great because all the students really enjoyed the interactive activities and events that we participated in, and there were frequent breaks for us to relax and get to know one another. However, some of the activities were a little tedious and could be shortened to keep our attention.
By giving us three days at the firm, this was one of the best insights I've had at a law firm, especially since we had jam-packed days full of events and activities. The firm really invested in us by giving us so much time to learn about them and talk to representatives to truly understand their culture.
We talked to many trainees and also future trainees on why they joined DLA Piper and their experiences at other firms in comparison to DLA, which were extremely beneficial in helping us to decide why DLA might be the firm for us to join. Furthermore, talking to trainees about their daily work and their seat rotations helped me to understand what working as a commercial solicitor is like.
By talking to many representatives of the firm from different seniority ranks, from trainees to partners, we really got a feel for the company's friendly and diverse culture and it was really nice to be able to approach them with any concerns or questions we had. This insight truly gave me a look into the working environment at DLA Piper.
Most of the events that we participated in were useful in helping us to decide whether commercial law is for us, and what our future journey might look like given that the Solicitors Qualifying Examination is changing how we might qualify. However, some sections were a little long and the objective was unclear.
As an international student, I was provided with accommodation for 3 nights at a nearby hotel and my train tickets were also reimbursed. This was one of the most generous offerings from a law firm and I really appreciate the effort they took to ensure that all students are able to participate in their event.
There were plenty of opportunities for networking and meeting trainees and partners at the firm, especially over lunch or snacks. However, the welcome dinner on the first night would be better if we also had the opportunity to talk with representatives from the firm because that was a bit of a missed opportunity.
We had ample amount of time to meet other students and to network over lunch and breaks, and given that we were provided with lots of food and drinks, we certainly enjoyed meeting new people while eating. Around 80 people attended the event, and I can truly say that I have made friends from universities around the country.
We learnt a lot about the Pro Bono work that DLA Piper is involved in and how trainees, associates and partners are involved in helping charities and giving back to the community. One special thing about DLA that I learnt was that they have full-time human rights lawyers (25 around the globe) which is unheard of in commercial law firms.
I would definitely recommend this insight to my friends because the three days that I spent at DLA Piper were really rewarding and I loved visiting the firm and getting to meet representatives to understand why they chose the path of a commercial solicitor and why they joined DLA Piper specifically.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Central London and City
23rd April 2019