Vacation scheme at Gateley Legal

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Reading South East
Review Date

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About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

Well organised placement, tasks were tailored to my interests and strengths, and helped me broaden my horizons and develop areas of weakness. People were friendly and gave me their time both during the day and at social events. Frequent video con sessions helped me find out more about the firm's other teams and offices.


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

Team members were willing to give me their time to talk about their roles and their experience working for the company. I felt that the work I was doing was of value to the firm and feedback provided help me understand how to improve and how my work fitted in.


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

I didn't receive much guidance on my tasks which I welcomed as it gave me the chance to find out the answers for myself. I did however get lots of support, everyone was willing to help me and guide me in the right direction, and there was a generally supportive atmosphere.


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

I've already had extensive experience of office environments and working in a hierarchical structure so the general "soft" skills were already there. But what I did gain was a better understanding of what a corporate law firm does and how it interacts with clients, and this will help me in the future.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

It was a pretty good balance of working in teams and video con sessions to find out more about the firm and what it does. It would have been helpful to have had the timetable in advance so that I knew about expected start and finish times, and when social (evening) events would be.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

Really good, everyone was positive, welcoming and friendly. They appeared genuinely interested in me as an individual and were happy to help me with tasks and talk me through their roles to give me a broader insight. Everyone seemed to be happy to work there. Also the social events were appropriate and gave me a good opportunity to meet people.


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

Definitely I felt invested in during the fortnight. It was a very helpful development experience, since I had never experienced life in a corporate law firm before. I felt like I was taking up a lot of people's time, yet they were still happy to take the time to talk to me.


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?

I spent a lot of time talking to people at the firm, understanding their roles and what it might be like to work there full time. The frequent video con sessions helped me to understand life and work in other offices around the UK. It would have been useful to have had more info from the graduate recruitment team about the expectations during a training contract.


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

This was my key take-away from the fortnight. Company websites all give the same information about culture, but it is only by spending time in an office that you fully understand how people work together. At Gateley Plc it's clear there's a positive, collaborative culture and attitude. Everyone seems genuinely enthusiastic about working there.


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

It helped cement that I'm on the right career path, and doing the right thing by investing in a career change. It also helped me understand the difference between a commercial/ corporate law firm and a high-street firm and confirm that I'm much better suited to the former. It helped me see how my previous experiences can be used in that environment.


Other Information

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

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

Yes via video conferencing sessions with teams around the company in other offices, plus there were office-wide sessions booked into my calendar eg charity events, which gave me the chance to meet other people in a different context and made me feel like part of the team. It gave me a better understanding of the value the firm places on its staff.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

We had a lunch out fairly early on in the placement, which felt appropriate and a good opportunity to meet other people. It was helpful for me (with childcare issues) to have this during the working day rather than afterwards. I appreciated that some of the more senior staff came to this lunch too.


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

It seems that Gateley have a lot of activities going on but not much in the office I was in, mainly as it is so small. But I did appreciate knowing that such activities are supported so staff are able to get involved or organise their own if they want to.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

Yes, a really good chance to get to know the firm, a friendly office with lots of interesting work.