I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement. The opportunity to get involved in real work and learn was effectively balanced with the opportunity to show my own capabilities. Every person in the firm was approachable and willing to answer questions that I asked. I felt well supported and enjoyed getting to be a part of a firm with such a lovely culture.
I felt really valued during my time at the firm, the department was incredibly inclusive and I felt welcome from my first day. The people at the firm made a real effort to get to know me and ask questions about my life, such as what I am studying and where I am from.
For every task I completed, my supervisor sat down with me and discussed it in detail. They went out of their way to ensure that I understood and made a real effort to give me practical advice that I could use in the future rather than advice related to that task alone. I genuinely do not think the support could have been better.
The placement has largely increased my confidence, and this is something that I will take forward in my future career. I was encouraged to be independent but this was balanced with support when I needed it which created a good balance. The placement has encouraged me to produce work that is clear and organised, as quite often work is shared between many members in the firm.
Certain parts of the placement were structured, such as the tasks that I was given. However, the time to do these tasks was for me to independently decide and I feel like this really benefited me. It was a true and accurate representation of a typical day of a lawyer at Shoosmiths.
The culture of the firm was really great, it's sociable but not to an extent that people do not work hard. I got a strong impression that Shoosmiths is a firm that you can have friends but also the opportunity to get involved in exciting work. As a result you can tell that everyone really loves working at Shoosmiths.
Every task was clearly explained to me beforehand by my supervisors to ensure that I had a clear idea of what I was doing. I attended two training sessions that were for the paralegals in banking and my supervisor even made the effort during these to explain anything she thought I may have been unfamiliar with.
During my placement I was able to ask people questions about the kind of work they get involved with on a daily basis and the kind of clients that they deal with. Everyone was more than happy to relate this to their personal experiences and explain to me the struggles that they had and what they enjoy.
The company culture was easy to see from the very first day and this continued throughout the week. The people in the team that I was placed in are hard-working and conscientious, but also sociable and friendly. I could tell that the company really values the people at the firm.
When I was first placed in my team I had little experience of that area of law, however through the conversations that I had and the tasks that I gained more information. I was also able to discuss other areas in the firm with other lawyers to gain an insight of these. I was confident that I wanted to do law beforehand however this has encouraged me to keep an open mind of which area to try during a training contract.
On the last day of my placement I went out for lunch with members of the team and was able to talk to everyone and ask about their own experiences. Everyone at the firm was willing to have a chat and give me advice throughout the week that I was at Shoosmiths.
I would definitely recommend this placement to a friend, I have really enjoyed my time at the placement and I feel that I have had amazing support throughout. I have felt valued during the week and have learnt a lot, I have had a good balance of working independently and being given guidance.