Vacation Scheme at Simmons & Simmons LLP

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date
Less than £ 10,000
Commercial Law Corporate Law


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

The scheme was very enjoyable. It was a great way to learn more about the firm and its culture by experiencing two weeks in the office. Graduate recruitment had organised some fun socials as well which was a great way of getting to know the other vacation schemers as well. There were also many opportunities to get involved in other aspects of the firm such as sports and pro bono.


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

In general, I did feel valued at the firm. The extent of this varied depending on the department (for example, in one of the departments I was in I felt noticed and had opportunities to speak to and work for partners, whereas I didn't really have the opportunity to do this in my other department).


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

I felt that I was given the right amount of guidance and support. Although some of the tasks I was asked to completed were quite challenging (some more than others), I was always given the opportunity to have a go at it first. However, having written a first draft, I then felt comfortable asking further questions and asking for feedback.


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

I was able to have a go at some real trainee tasks (such as cross-reference checks, drafting documents and emails to other law firms, research, etc) which I really enjoyed and which I feel gave me a real flavour of the type of work I will be doing as a trainee therefore the skills I developed will be useful.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

The scheme was well structured. Most of the two weeks was spent in the departments, which I enjoyed as it was the best way to get a feel for what the work and people are actually like. However, I did feel that some of the sessions and talks about the firm/departments could have been longer.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The general atmosphere was positive. People generally seemed friendly and proactive in giving you work to do. The people in one of the departments were noticeably more chatty and willing to speak to me in comparison to the other department, however on the whole everyone seemed pleasant and approachable. Some of the trainees on socials were less interested in talking about their experience at the firm etc than others.


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

On the whole, the firm has clearly made an investment in the vac schemers. However, I did feel that there could have been more departmental talks which could have perhaps been more formally structured (and a talk on each major department rather than 1 hour covering 4 departments) as we only sat in 2 departments and therefore talks would have been a good way of learning about some others in depth. Similarly, the talk on innovation which was interesting for many of us felt quite short at 30 minutes, with no real time for questions.


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?

Given that we were able to get stuck into departmental work for most of the two weeks, I gained a pretty good insight into what it would be like to be a trainee at the firm, which is good. The work given to vacation schemers is probably not reflective of actual trainee work, but I was also able to see the work those around me were doing.


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

Being in the firm for two weeks was clearly the best way to learn about the culture at the firm. Whilst we had the opportunity to approach plenty of people in the departments we were in, I felt that there was limited opportunity to speak to other trainees/associates/partners, which could have helped to really understand the culture a bit better.


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

The scheme was very useful for me in deciding that commercial law is definitely the career path for me. I found the work in the departments really interesting, which affirmed this. One of my supervisors was particularly good at explaining the type of work the department does and I got involved in a few different matters but with enough depth, which I appreciated.


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?

Whilst we had the opportunity to approach plenty of people in the departments we were in, I felt that there was limited opportunity to speak to other trainees/associates/partners, which could have helped to really understand the culture a bit better. There was a partner breakfast which is definitely a great session, however we were in tables and only had 10 minutes to speak to each of three partners, which was definitely not enough time to actually ask them interesting questions and have a meaningful conversation. In future, perhaps there should be one/two vac schemers to one partner, and the entire 30 minutes to chat to them.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

Social event opportunities were generous and fun. At the socials in the first week, there could have been more representatives from the firm because although the socials were fun, there wasn't much opportunity to actually learn about people's experiences at the firm. Some represenatives also didn't seem very interested in this.


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

Yes - we were told on the first day about sports opportunities and the different networks at the firm. There was a session on pro bono and CSR too. Throughout the two weeks, vac schemers were encouraged to get involved with these activities, which many of us did - I appreciated this.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

Overall, I would recommend the scheme. Vacation schemes are a great way of learning more about the firm, the work it does and the people. It was also a good way of affirming that I am entering the right profession as I enjoyed the nature of the work that I was exposed to.