Vacation Scheme Student at Herbert Smith Freehills

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

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About You

Role Description

Carrying out ad hoc work in two departments over the three weeks you are here.

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I very much enjoyed the vacation scheme at Herbert Smith Freehills. The work was enormously varied, and I particularly like the way we got involved in substantive client matters. The range of work, from drafting client letters or legal agreements to doing research memos to proofreading documents, really helped to get a sense of what a career here is like.


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

I was highly surprised at how valued I felt here; everyone was hugely interested in you as a person, in your personal development, and in your own career goals and aspirations. They were also very thankful and complimentary about your work, and really appreciative of when you helped out with their things. Everyone was very friendly and it felt familial and comfortable to be working here.


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

I have received a lot of guidance, support, and help through the scheme. Everyone has been hugely supportive, especially since I am starting from a low base and without much knowledge of the work. Given this, people have been very aware of your capabilities and what you are able to do, and have tailored their work and support accordingly. They have also been interested in helping you learn and giving you the knowledge and tools to help you grow.


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

I have finished my degree studies, so that part of the question is not so relevant to me. However, in general the skills I have gained, including a fine attention to detail, a clear understanding of certain points of law, and a greater knowledge base of commercial matters, will be invaluable to me in my future career wherever I go and whatever other things I want to get involved in.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

The insight was very well structured; we had two seats in two different areas, which gives you a highly useful range of exposure and experience with different people and different types of work. The programme of presentations, events, and other interesting things was incredibly informative and ideal for those of us at this stage who are considering pursuing this career.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The general atmosphere was superb; everyone on the scheme has been very friendly, familial, and willing to support you in your work. The other trainees have been very supportive, and HR and graduate recruitment have all worked hard to create a good atmosphere that makes us feel comfortable enough to grow and develop over our time here.


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

Herbert Smith Freehills has been dedicated through the vacation scheme over the last three weeks to helping us grow and develop. We have had numerous presentations, learning events, and other opportunities to increase or deepen our skills over our time here, and this matches up well with what people say about the firm's investment in their staff once you are a full-time employee here.


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?

This vacation scheme at Herbert Smith Freehills has been very useful in helping us form an understanding of what it would be like to have a full time role as a lawyer or solicitor here. We have been able to get a sense of the variety of the work lawyers do here, what the nature of that work is like, and whether we would enjoy carrying that out.


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

I got a good sense of the culture of Herbert Smith Freehills in the course of the vacation scheme, over the last three weeks. We have been fortunate enough to meet a very wide range of people from all corridors of the firm, and so have built up a good sense of the different things people feel about the firm's culture and what that overall atmosphere is like.


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

The content of each day was varied, different, difficult, and challenging, which has been hugely helpful in helping me consider what sort of career path I would like to do and what sort of work I enjoy. This variet of challenging and stretching work is something I really enjoy, so this is a career I know would be suited to me.


Other Information

11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?

The firm is very generous with its pay package for us vacation schemers, which is very helpful as those who are travelling from far away and who do not live locally can easily afford accommodation nearby. This is essential, in my personal opinion, in order to widen the pool of people who are able and willing to get involved on a scheme like this.

12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?

We were encouraged from the start to try to network, meet, engage with, or otherwise get to know the other members of Herbert Smith Freehills. This was hugely useful to getting a sense of the overall shape of the firm, the range of work people do here, and what sort of things they like to get involved in.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

The networking and social event opportunities were excellent. We had many organised and scheduled events on our programme, including drinks with the partners, a future joiners drinks, and other events including pasta making! All of these were hugely fun, though some did run on rather late, which means you are a bit tired when you get in the next day!


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

Yes, I did. Many of the employees, including trainees, associates, partners, PAs, and other support staff talked about the things they do outside of work, including the choir, sports such as netball, rugby, football, and other social events. There are many networks to support people while they are here, and Herbert Smith Freehills does a great job of giving people a range of things to support them in their work.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

I would be very eager to make a recommendation of this vacation scheme at Herbert Smith Freehills to a friend or family member. It has been very enjoyable, a real insight into the work of a commercial lawyer in the city, and has been a wonderful and beneficial experience for my future career, even if I were to decided I do not want to go into law (which is unlikely).