The insight was a fantastic opportunity to gain an understanding of the firm, its values and the qualities it looks for in its prospective employees. The chance to meet so many exceptional people was testament to the high calibre of individuals that the firm consists of. Overall, it was an experience that I would highly recommend to any aspiring commercial lawyer.
The opportunity to meet so many employees from the firm, ranging up to positions of notable seniority, certainly gave the impression that the students on the insight were highly valued. Further, the enthusiasm of the staff acted to create a feeling that they were genuinely pleased at our being there.
From the very start of the insight, there was always a member of the Graduate Recruitment team on hand to answer any questions or queries the students may have had. Moreover, the various 'networking lunches' with trainees throughout the insight gave ample opportunity to receive guidance from people that had not long ago been at our stage in the process.
While the information learnt may not have necessarily been all that pertinent to my non-law degree, the skills developed would be useful for any academic pursuit. The information regarding the application process and the qualities the firm looks for in its prospective trainees will prove invaluable in the future. Furthermore, the less firm-specific guidance on things such as CVs would likely be useful for any future lawyer.
Each day of the programme was exceptionally well organised. Informative talks were offset against more interactive activities to keep the students permanently engaged. The activities themselves were well-structured such that each student could participate up to the level that they felt comfortable. This gave those students that wanted to voice their opinions to the group the opportunity to do so, whilst by no means compelling others to do the same.
Unsurprisingly, the initial atmosphere was chiefly one of apprehension. However, this quickly turned to excitement and enthusiasm, a feat that was largely down to the welcoming and encouraging atmosphere instilled by the Graduate Recruitment team.
There was considerable attention devoted to developing skills with regard to future applications, which will certainly prove invaluable. Further, the focus on the type of skills and characteristics the firm looks for in its future applicants gave much food for thought.
The opportunity to meet numerous trainees throughout the course of the programme gave a real insight into what life would be like starting out at the firm. Between them, they covered a vast array of seats and practice areas, thus providing the students with an idea of what you might expect to experience in many different parts of the firm.
Conveying the this and culture of the firm was, I would say, one of the biggest successes of the programme, and certainly one of the major things I took away from it.
Prior to the programme I was already intent on a career in commercial law. However, after spending a few days with DLA, there is little doubt that working there would be a privilege. For me, therefore, I would say the programme was most instrumental in helping me decide the type of firm I would like to work at.
There were multiple opportunities to meet employees of the firm from a variety of areas, ranging from the Graduate Recruitment team, to trainees, to partners. It was partly this interaction with so many aspects of the firm that created such a strong impression of the nature and ethos of it.
The opportunities were largely informal, such as chatting to trainees over a relaxed lunch. This provided a good atmosphere for asking questions as well as getting to know some of the employees on a more personal level.
It seems to me that one of the many distinguishing factors about DLA is the multitude of opportunities it offers its employees outside of the parameters of their particular practice areas. Pro bono work is arguably the most significant example of this type of activity. The opportunities for pro bono vary widely.
Whatever stage in the process of deciding your future career path you are at, I would highly recommend this insight programme. Whether you are undecided as to whether commercial law is for you, or are just unsure as to the firm you want to apply to, this programme offers plenty of advice and information to help you make an informed decision. Further, the advice in terms of applications is hugely valuable. As is the opportunity to meet so many exceptional individuals.