I really enjoyed the vacation scheme. I was swiftly getting my hands on doing real-life legal work and drafting. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming that I felt like I had actually worked there for years. I actually looked forward to going into work in the mornings.
During my time at the firm, I felt extremely valued. I was tasked with ongoing real legal matters and I very much felt part of the team and I was given very detailed feedback on my work that I had done. I was also invited to attend various networking and department meetings which made we feel very valued.
At the start of the scheme, there was an induction which gave us overall guidance and enabled us to ask any questions we had at the very start of the scheme. We were also given guidance documents and phone numbers should we ever need any help with anything, I found this extremely useful especially with I.T issues as I was unfamiliar with the case management system. Before any task, my supervisor would brief me on what needed to be done and encouraged me to ask any questions. I felt very supported throughout the whole of the scheme.
I learnt a plethora of skills from this vacation scheme such as networking, proofreading and drafting legal documents. I also learnt how different legal departments operate and how different corporate structures can massively benefit certain law firms. These skills will most definitely help me in my future jobs and help me to achieve my goal of becoming a solicitor.
The vacation scheme was structured very well. We were provided with an itinerary of the scheme which set out very clearly what the scheme would entail. I really liked the layout of the scheme which included various 'overview sessions' which were conducted via a video link, whereby a solicitor in that department from across Gateley’s offices would detail what they would do day to day in there department and why they chose that specific department. This was very useful for me as an aspiring trainee at the firm and as aspiring solicitors.
The atmosphere of the vacation scheme really encapsulated the culture of the firm for me. It was friendly, open and engaging. I couldn’t have asked for a more friendly group of people really, they enabled me to settle in very quickly.
My supervisor was very encouraging and enabled me to feel at ease and did everything she could to make my experience the best it possibly could be. As stated above I actually enjoyed coming into work during this scheme.
They invested hugely in me. The feedback I was given for the work I had undertaken was very tailored to me and was very helpful for me in terms of what to improve on. This scheme definitely enabled me to develop not only as an aspiring solicitor but as a person as well.
This was especially the case as I was able to really tailor my networking skills and my approach to meeting clients.
Being able to work on real matters and being encouraged to sit in on face to face client meetings and conference calls, I was able to get a great insight into working at the firm. This was also hugely helped by the open-plan offices which enabled me to listen in on conversations with clients and enabled me to ask any questions about the firm and see how the departments interacted with each other.
The culture of the firm was evident throughout the scheme. This was great to see as I was able to clearly see that the culture I had identified through researching and hearing about the firm was actually there. The friendly, open and transparent culture really allowed me to feel at ease and get the most out of the vacation scheme.
The content of the scheme was perfectly tailored to help me decide on my future career path. It allowed me to gain an insight into what work I would be doing as a trainee and as a solicitor and it also enabled me to gain an insight into the different departments which operate at Gateley.
We were all paid a fixed amount for our time on the scheme at the end of the two weeks.
During the two weeks of the scheme, there were lots of opportunities to meet and network with other employees. During my time on the scheme, I attended a breakfast club and various networking lunches. As the office was open-plan meeting other employees was very easy and opportunities always presented themselves.
There were various networking/social event opportunities. There was a netball match with another firm, there was a breakfast club and also various social drinks and lunches. However, I was in a small office so there were more events elsewhere.
There was lots of information about lots of activities which were taking place around different Gateley offices. It was also good to know that trainees were trusted to set up and run their own events, with the aim of raising money for a chosen charity,
I would definitely recommend this vacation scheme to a friend. I not only got a very detailed insight into working at the firm and as a solicitor but, I also met some really lovely people.
It has motivated me even more to achieve my career goal.