The vacation week at Shoosmiths was very enjoyable. I was given a variety of tasks from different departments including the graduate recruitment team. This meant I had to effectively time manage in order to complete all the tasks. Additionally, all the staff I interacted with were very friendly, making the office environment very welcoming.
I felt very valued during the week. As I was the only vacation student that week, it meant all the staff were eager to talk to me, get to know me and set tasks for me to complete. Even the partners were very friendly and open to conversation all week. Everyone was also open to providing assistance and feedback on my work throughout the week.
I received excellent guidance and support, I didn't feel shy asking questions as everyone was open to help and answer my questions.
The skills and information I gained from the experience helped to consolidate the knowledge I already had from my degree alongside giving me the opportunity to use my knowledge in practice. It also allowed me to build on existing knowledge and understand how law firms operate as a business. The vacation week gave me great confidence in my knowledge and abilities to become a solicitor.
It was very well structured. I was given a variety of tasks from the teams in my office to do on a day to day basis. However, graduate recruitment were excellent in making sure the whole week was structured and that I had the relevant information before starting and during the week's work experience.
The general atmosphere was very welcoming and friendly.
The firm was good at investing in my personal development. During the middle of the week, the graduate recruitment team contacted me to make sure things were going well and after I completed the week, they provided me with detailed and positive feedback. Additionally, after I completed each task I was set, I was given feedback allowing me to enhance my abilities and develop.
Furthermore, they invited me to an assessment centre and again I was given feedback on my performance after the day took place.
It was an extremely valuable insight into life at the firm. I heard from the employees first hand about their experience in the firm and I also got to witness it, for example the quality of work expected and the case load of each person.
It was helpful to understand the company culture and to witness first hand the employees putting the firms values into practice.
It was useful in helping me to decide my future career path as it gave me a greater insight into different areas of commercial law of which I hadn't experienced as of yet. However, I already knew prior to the experience that this was the career path I was looking for. Therefore, the experience consolidated and contributed to my continued aspiration.
I was paid for my contribution to the firm for the week. This was an added bonus to the experience as a lot of other legal firms do not pay you for undertaking a vacation week.
There were some opportunities to network with the other employees, for example I went out for lunch with two of the trainees which was paid for by the firm.
During my week I only attended one networking opportunity, which was lunch with the trainees which was very enjoyable and gave me an opportunity to learn more about their path into law.
I was aware of a few activities outside of work.
I would 100% recommend this insight to a friend. It was an extremely beneficial week and has provided me with increased confidence into pursuing a career in law. It was a very positive week, with lots of challenging yet rewarding work alongside working with a lovely group of employees, giving a great insight into life at the firm.