1 week vacation scheme with Shoosmiths in their London office, with the Real Estate team.
My week at Shoosmiths has been thoroughly enjoyable. Everyone here has been so friendly and welcoming, and I feel I got a true insight into what life as a solicitor is like. Compared to previous placements I have had too, I have felt truly looked after and it has been well-organized. The culture of Shoosmiths is as good as their website makes it out to be, and that is not true for many law firms.
I felt valued for the majority of the week. Everyone was willing to give up a few minutes of their time if I had any questions and I felt I was doing work that genuinely mattered to the firm. From the very beginning, I was warmly welcomed and treated as if I had worked at Shoosmiths for years.
I felt supported at every step of the way. When I arrived, my trainee buddy took me for a coffee and we got to know each other. He was there at all times for any questions and helped me think about the assignments set by Graduate Recruitment and provided tips. Similarly, trainees around the office were very friendly and gave up their time to give their input to the work I was doing, and were willing to answer any questions.
I have just completed my undergraduate degree but will be starting my GDL in September. The skills I have developed here included time-management, analytical skills and interpersonal skills. I have also deeply enhanced my commercial awareness whist being here, and these are skills that will assist my thinking during my law conversion year, as well as in pursuing a law career.
From the beginning of the week, there was a lot to do. I felt quite overwhelmed on the first day with the amount of information I was given with. However, they provided a timetable with thoughts on how to organize my week which was helpful. The week was broken up by different Graduate Recruitment deadlines, socializing and work set by the Real Estate department. After my presentation on Thursday, I felt I had more spare time and a less hectic schedule, meaning things could be slow at times. However, these were perfect moments for catching up on admin tasks like filling in the diary.
This place seems like an incredible place to work. Everyone is working hard but seems to genuinely enjoy the work they are doing and the people are so friendly and welcoming. There seems to be a genuine work-life balance here, and I even stayed later (out of choice) than some employees some days, which is a true testament to the claims on Shoosmiths' website. I think I would be very happy to work here.
They were willing to explain complicated issues to me and sit down with me for any questions I had. I attended a tax training seminar with the Real Estate team which made me feel like part of the team and allowed me to develop my knowledge. The often hectic schedules means I got to enhance my time management skills and I was given tasks that certainly allowed my analytical skills to grow.
I think it has truly shown me what it would be like to work here. It was obviously challenging at times, but there was a genuinely nice feel to the office and people were excited about the work they were doing. It was also relatively social, with a large group being rounded up on Friday to go for lunch.
From chatting with Partners and Trainees, it was good to get a real 'lived' experience of working for Shoosmiths and the values it holds. There is clearly a large focus on equality here. It was also great to have an introduction with HR where I felt I learnt about the culture in greater depth, beyond what is obvious on the website.
I've known for ages that I want to be a lawyer but I think this experience has shown me what kind of firm I would want to be working for as a solicitor. This office is friendly and motivating, and whilst the work may be challenging, there is certainly a work-life balance.
I was paid £310 for this week. My expenses were not reimbursed but obviously that is generous salary for the week and so covered my train travel and lunches, with money left over.
I was also taken for lunch one day by my training buddy and he actually paid. I though that was a lovely touch.
Yes, I was introduced to the entire Real Estate team at the start of the week and so felt comfortable talking to them whenever I had questions. I also arranged to have a coffee with a trainee in Corporate and it was nice to get to know her too. My training buddy also introduced me to a Legal Director in IP who I did some research for.
I went out for lunch twice with numerous employees in the office.
They were good - it was nice to talk to employees in a more informal setting whilst also being able to talk about valuable topics. I think my experience was slightly different from other placement students because I was the only one in the office this week. It would have been nice to get to know other candidates undertaking a placement.
Not to the extent I would have liked to - I still have an opportunity this afternoon to do so and so perhaps I will be able to learn about this there. I have mainly spent the week talking to employees about the work to be honest! I can definitely see that there is a lot of involvement with charity here however.
Yes definitely - this is the best summer placement I have ever done and I have never felt more welcomed or comfortable at a law firm. It was nicely organized and the work I was doing was genuinely interesting and enjoyable. Although the presentation I did was a challenge at firm, I actually found the topic really interesting to research and even liked presenting it. Everyone here is so friendly and I had a very positive experience.