Summer Vacation Scheme at Shoosmiths

Top Employer
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Birmingham West Midlands
Review Date
£16,000 - £17,999
Employment Law
Shoosmiths is a Top Employer


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

Excellent insight into the law firm, through the 1 week vacation scheme. Candidates are given the opportunity to choose their preferences of which department they'd like to work in, however, your Host (a trainee solicitor) will encourage you to speak to other departments and ask questions about other areas of work. I enjoyed learning more about how the firm sticks to it's values and the workload expected of trainees.


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

I was warmly welcomed by my Host and the department. They allocated me a good amount of work and I was able to approach senior employee to discuss their clients and case work. The Partners at the firm were approachable and offered their time to talk to me about my experience within the department and my plans going forward. I was set a presentation task to complete during the week, which I discussed and rehearsed with a Partner at the firm. Overall everyone was very open and helpful, which allowed me to get the most out of the week placement.


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

I was allocated a Host trainee, who introduced me to the department and software which I would be using through the week. The office generally uses hot desk style work, but I was given a location to work in and introduced to everyone within that immediate area each day. My host gave me lots of tips to help me through the week, from how to use the printer to getting the coffee rounds right. I enjoyed the breadth of work which I was allocated by my Host, and received regular feedback throughout the week.


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

The main skills which I developed through the week was the ability to learn new information quickly and apply it to my work. For example, I was set a sector task, which I had to present by the end of the week. I asked other department staff about their work and the sector approach of the firm to help me confidently deliver a final presentation. I developed independence to get on with the tasks I was given, which will help me in the future when I apply for future work placements and with my studies.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

The week placement was well structured, with work set by both the Graduate recruitment team and my Host within the Employment department. I was in charge of organising my own timetable, by keeping track of my work progress through a diary. I also had to send invitations and book meeting rooms for my project presentation, which gave me personal responsibility. The feedback throughout the week was also well structured.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

I enjoyed the week placement and felt that all staff members wanted me to do my best whilst working at the firm. I think this is a good example of the encouragement other trainee's receive at the firm, which is an important part of securing a training contract and getting the most out of the experience. The trainee's organised a lunch for me to attend, where I was able to get to know them better and learn more about the workload for trainees at the firm. Overall the atmosphere was positive and encouraging.


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

The company was very invested in trainee's, which was clear from taking part in the placement. I received training during the first few days and learnt more about the training principals who support all the trainee's during their work at the firm. The company had allocated funds to support trainee events and met regularly to discuss their progress.


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 week placement gave me a very strong understanding of what a full time role would look like at the firm. I was warmly welcomed, encouraged by other staff members and given opportunities to ask questions. This was important for me, as it allowed me the chance to develop my skills and get to know the firm.


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

A key part of the tasks set throughout the week was to show that the candidates understood the firms values and how they are applied in practice. The client really is at the heart of the work at the firm, which was encouraging and exciting to see the firm's progress. Staff members were very open about their experiences at the firm


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

I found the content of the work placement very helpful to decide my future career path, as I was able to get an idea of the department which I would want to take a seat in as a trainee and to ask questions about what the workload is like in practice.


Other Information

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

I was reimbursed fairly for the experience, which enabled me to pay for transport to the work placement. The company also paid for a lunch for myself and the trainees to attend. Each Monday and Wednesday there is free fruit for all staff members which was a kind gesture. The payment was in line with other placement reimbursement.

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

The trainees invited me to a lunch, where they shared their experiences about working for the company. I also talked 1-1 with various employees which helped me to understand the firm culture. I was invited to an evening presentation by a fellow colleague in my department, this was a good insight into the work that goes on outside of the office.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

I enjoyed meeting other trainees in a more informal environment to help me see if I would fit in with the culture of the firm. I liked getting to know the other social activities the firm does and opportunities to suggest new ideas to the training principal, who was very encouraging towards the trainees.


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

The employees currently have a netball team and complete an annual total wipe out with other offices. The team were keen to organise trainee drinks and meals, which helped the cohort to get to know each other. The trainees also attended a black tie event during the week, which provided networking opportunities with clients.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

I would recommend this insight to a friend, as it was a positive environment to learn and a clear example of why Shoosmiths training is so highly commended. I would recommend they do research before arriving for the vacation scheme, to help understand the clients and values of the firm, which will help to understand them in practice.