My time at Gateley was really enjoyable. There was a mix of social events, working in the department, and departmental talks which were held on a video conference across all offices. The variety of activities and type of work meant that I got a deep insight into life at Gateley.
I was carrying out high level trainee work as well as doing little bits of admin work to help people out. I was carrying out work for a variety of people throughout the office, helping out trainees to partners, so I definitely felt that the work I was doing was valued and appreciated.
I was well supported throughout the placement as I had a supervisor that was assigned to me during the 2 weeks. I also had a trainee who was sat next to me who gave me endless guidance. Everyone else in the department was also on hand to ask any questions if I so wished.
The variety of work that I was given means that I have a better understanding of the skills that are required when working as a solicitor. The departmental talks were especially useful in giving me an idea of which seats I would like to do if and when I do a training contract.
The placement was very well organised. On the first day everybody went to Birmingham for an initial briefing and we were given booklets outlining what we would be doing each day, including social events times and locations, when we would be working in our departments, interview/group presentation date, and departmental talk times and locations.
Everybody in the office seemed to genuinely like each other and be friends. Although we were being assessed it never felt that way. The atmosphere was supportive and the impression I got was that everyone wanted you to do well rather than trying to trip you up in any way.
Gateley paid us for our time working in the office. We were also assigned a supervisor who provided useful personal feedback therefore helping me to improve and develop. The departmental talks informed us of the types of skills that are required when working as a trainee in a law firm.
I worked in the same department for the whole 2 week placement which gave me the opportunity to get involved with my own case and more long term work. I was also able to get to know people in my department quite well, therefore providing a deeper insight than I would have got from just 1 week in 2 departments.
The placement was especially useful for getting to know the company culture. Working in the same department for the whole 2 week placement and attending different social events with trainees demonstrated that Gateley people are sociable and make an effort to spend time with each other and to get along.
The placement provided a very useful insight into what life would be like working as a solicitor at Gateley. This insight would not have been gained without doing the placement itself, therefore I consider it to be highly valuable in helping me to decide on my future legal career path.
I was paid for the 2 week placement and I was also reimbursed for the travel to the assessment centre and to the induction day at the Birmingham office. The payment was more than sufficient to cover my personal expenses, and we were also provided with lunch on some days.
We were able to meet the trainees in the Birmingham office on the first day, and also the trainees in the office that I worked in during social events. We spoke to a variety of staff members across all departments and offices during the departmental talks, as well as those in our own departments.
We attended a social evening with trainees where we went out for a meal and drinks. We also had a meal with a partner/training principal on the final day. This provided the opportunity to ask questions and to get to know the firm in a more informal and relaxed setting.
There were plenty of opportunities to ask the employees about other work that you can get involved in. This information wasn't volunteered by the employees, however if you asked any questions everybody in the office was more than happy to fill you in on the different aspects of life at Gateley.
I would recommend the placement as it was a great opportunity to build up and develop more legal experience and skills, to learn about the different departments, and to get a deep insight into what life is really like at Gateley. The summer placement was very well organised and structured.