The vacation scheme at Shoosmiths was a fantastic opportunity to observe the day-to-day responsibilities of solicitors, understand the challenges they face and gain an overall insight into the profession. I thoroughly enjoyed the insight because I was able to talk to partners, senior associates, paralegals, legal executives and trainees about their time at the firm. They gave me great advice which I can draw on in the future.
I completed a variety of meaningful work (a lease report, drafting a letter to a client, reviewing case and legislation for a legal text book and completing a register of title exercise). The work involved real clients which made it more interesting and allowed me to further my legal knowledge and business skills. Everyone was approachable and made me feel very welcome.
My supervisor was available at all times to answer my questions, queries and explain legal terms to me. On Monday morning I was sent an email outlining my timetable for the week as well as various tasks to complete which helped me organize my time. I was asked to ring graduate recruitment midway through the placement to update them on how I was doing and give them feedback. Overall it was a highly organized placement.
The skills I developed on the placement were mainly as follows: time management and organization (balancing all my different tasks); project planning and delivery (giving a presentation to HR and senior associates); networking (introducing myself and speaking to people); analytical and critical thinking (reviewing legal documents). I will be able to draw upon all of these skills during future vacation schemes and training contracts.
The insight was extremely well structured. I received an email on Monday outlining a rough timetable. My supervisor gave me various pieces of new work as I completed each one. I had to complete a time sheet and a diary throughout the week which helped me organize my time. I knew exactly when my project presentation was due to be held. There was a great balance of structure and flexibility which allowed me to demonstrate my personality and make the most of the placement.
Fantastic. Everyone was friendly and relaxed and really wanted me to be myself and make the most of the week. The people at Shoosmiths are wonderful and fun to be around. They are also very hard working and professional, assisting each other when help is required. Everyone pulls together to work as a team and are within reach and responsive - two of Shoosmiths values!
My supervisor spent so much time with me explaining legal terms and answering my questions. Three members of the firm attended my presentation which lasted approx. half an hour. Partners and senior associates took time out of their day to talk to me and help my with future assessment day and training contract applications.
Yes, I have gained a great insight into what it would be like to work at the firm. My supervisor (trainee solicitor) explained to me what she does on a day-to-day basis, how she juggles tasks and the different responsibilities in each seat. I have understood how people interact with each other, have lunch and just generally go about their business every day.
The insight gave me a fantastic insight into the company culture. I realized that people at Shoosmiths really do adhere to their values, living and breathing them every day. By talking to lots of people and asking them questions about the firm I was able to understand the company culture. Even just attending meetings helped me understand how the firm operates.
The tasks I completed definitely helped me realise that I want to become a solicitor. I was genuinely interested in learning more about all the topics I covered, and I wanted to understand in greater detail about the role and responsibility of my supervisor. By completing a range of tasks I understood what solicitors do every day.
I was paid for the duration of the week.
Yes, there were many opportunities as long as I took the initiative and organized time to speak with them. I was taken out to lunch twice which was a great opportunity to chat.
Really great. Spent lunch with my team twice and was able to chat to everyone in the office.
Yes, I attended a charity committee meeting and organized a CSR activity within the office to raise money for the firm's chosen charity.
Yes, a fantastic week learning about real estate, taking responsibility for work and meeting new people.