I very much enjoyed the one-week paid placement I undertook at Shoosmiths. Not only was the team I was placed in incredibly friendly, but the whole office. This made it a genuinely enjoyable week. In addition to this, the work was really interesting, again adding to the great experience I had.
I felt genuinely valued while I was on the placement. Although it was only one week long, everyone in my team and around the office took the time to get to know me as a person, making feeling a valued member of the team. In addition, I was praised for the work I undertook by my supervisor but also partners in the office.
I received a good amount of guidance and support. My supervisor, the partners and other lawyers in the team and a lot of individuals in the wider office were more than happy to sit and chat, answering any and all of my queries, whether they were about my future career development or the task at hand.
Everything I learnt and developed set me up really well for my future career plans/ studies. The experience on the placement gave the me confidence and inside knowledge to do well on the assessment day. I had built a solid understanding of the firm and its culture, but was also given specific advice for me on the day.
The placement was very well-structured. The graduate recruitment team struck the perfect balance of legal work and other tasks. The legal work I was given was of good variety and was real and useful work that a trainee might be expected to do. In addition, the graduate recruitment work tested other important skills such as commercial awareness, presentation and time management.
The atmosphere on the placement was fantastic. Everyone was really friendly and made a genuine effort to get to know me. Everyone in the office was clearly very friendly regardless of my presence. We were taken out for lunch a few times and it was obvious that a lot of people in the office socialised outside of work.
Because I was given genuine work that a trainee would be expected to undertake and because I felt immediately comfortable in the team, I very much felt like I knew what it would be like to be a full time employee at the firm. It did not take more than a couple of days to feel like this.
After only a day at the firm, their values (which I had previously come across on the website and in promotional videos), were very obvious to me. Shoosmiths really does espouse relationships and results. It is clear that the firm is made up of personable and hard-working individuals. Lastly, I could see the progression to an agile working environment through laptops and docking stations.
I was paid the market rate for a week at a law firm and reimbursed expenses for the week. Although I was not paid for my travel to and back from work everyday, I was paid for a journey that I undertook while working there. I was also given a food allowance everyday to cover my lunch costs.
There were reasonable opportunities for networking and social opportunities. Thanks to the trainees in the office, we were taken out for a lunch on a number of occasions. My supervisor also encouraged me to network independently, which proved really useful in getting to know the different departments. However, I wish there had been a formal networking event to guarantee this to all placement students.