Summer Vacation Scheme at Herbert Smith Freehills

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


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I really enjoyed the vacation scheme. It truly allowed me to see how the firm functioned in terms of its culture, but also see the differences between different departments. We were given real work to do and I often looked forward to coming in to work everyday, which is a good sign!


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

Even though we were only there for three weeks, the firm really included us by inviting us to firm events. Additionally, the departments I sat in made me feel very comfortable from the beginning, and were always there if extra support was needed. I felt like I really contributed to the firm during my time here.


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

We had a trainee buddy that we could go to at any time, and my supervisor was also very helpful. Apart from that, the other trainees and associates were always prepared to answer any questions I had, and I always felt like I could ask anything.


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

The skills and information received probably won't be relevant in terms of degree studies, but the skills acquired are relevant regardless of what future career paths we are all going to take. Either way, it was useful in terms of fostering a good work ethic and seeing what particular things people did that we could also work on.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

There was a lot of talks from different departments which was super useful, as it allowed us to get an insight into the different departments. There were also socials throughout to get us to know each other better (and also other people at the firm!). I felt that there was a good balance of having us attend presentations and also having us do proper work.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

It was really really good - everyone enjoyed themselves and regardless of what departments I sat in, the general atmosphere never changed. People were always working hard but still really up to having a chat and talking, and there was a good atmosphere throughout the firm.


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

It was very helpful to have department talks because they always told us what specific skills were required for different practice areas, and also for a career as a lawyer in general. Additionally, the supervisors were really good in terms of giving feedback that was both positive and negative - so they really wanted us to improve and develop.


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?

It was super helpful, because we got to sit in departments and do real work, so we could get a taste of the kind of tasks they usually do. Also, we were able to talk to staff of all levels and ask them about their personal thoughts and experiences of working at the firm.


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

It was really interesting to see the different culture in different departments, and also how the firm functioned as a whole. Sitting in a department really allows you to see the group dynamics and also the general culture. Apart from that we got to meet people across the firm, even people from different international offices, which helped as well.


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

It let me see the kind of work I would potentially undertake, so it pretty much confirmed for me that I would like to pursue a career in law.


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?

There were tons of opportunities to do so - we were invited to events which were pretty well attended by partners and associates that we would not have otherwise met without the events. There were also events we were invited to individually by trainees etc, which allowed us to meet even more people.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

Grad recruitment did a great job in planning the socials for us, so we had a good balance of socialising with each other and also getting to know other people in the firm. There was a really good mix in general between both and we always had plenty of chances to meet loads of people.


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

There was a networks fair, pro bono presentation, and a circular was distributed about sports. However there was less emphasis on this and we often got this information by talking to people themselves and asking them what they personally did. Perhaps there could have been more information on outside work activities.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

yes, absolutely- it is really well structured and enjoyable. It also gives you a really full picture of the firm and allows you to see whether you want to work at a place like that or not. It is really busy and you get a lot done in the three weeks.