Assisted lawyers in different legal teams, drafted documents, read case bundles and carried out legal research.
I thoroughly enjoyed the vacation scheme. Everyone from the receptionist to partners were friendly and welcoming and I was given real work to complete. I not only learnt about how the law works in practice but also how a law firm operates as a business as I was lucky enough to attend the launch day of the new brand.
I felt incredibly valued during my time at Gateley. The lawyers and paralegals were incredibly grateful for the work I had completed and always explained the impact of our work on their clients. I also had the opportunity to go on a social with the lawyers and paralegals which made me feel valued at the firm.
I received a great deal of guidance and support from paralegals, associates and partners. The lawyers were keen to explain tasks to me and the impact it had on their clients. I was fortunately enough to have several meetings with a partner and a legal director who explained how the work I was doing fit into the greater picture and the clients case.
During my vacation scheme I learnt a significant amount about how the law works in practice and the skills necessary to be a successful commercial solicitor. I learnt about how to analyse a case and think from different perspectives in order to successfully negotiation and prepare for litigation.
The skills I developed at Gateley will greatly assist me in the future during my training contract.
The first day was an introduction at the firm's head office in Birmingham where all students were given a timetable of events for the 2 weeks of the vacation scheme.
During the vacation scheme we were scheduled in for talks on each of the firm's practice areas which was incredibly useful and I would highly recommend future vacation schemers to attend all these talks unless you have to attend a client meeting or court.
I found the entire experience absolutely fantastic and I met some of the nicest lawyers I have ever come across. This was my first vacation scheme and so I was unsure of what to expect but everyone made me feel so comfortable and welcomed to the firm. The lawyers and paralegals were so friendly and always keen to help us on different tasks.
The company organised daily video conferences on the firm's different practice areas. This greatly benefited me in understanding what each practice area does and how they fit together for different projects such as mergers and acquisitions. Also the work that I was doing was varied and I had the chance to receive work from different legal teams which assisted my personal development.
After spending 2 weeks at the firm, I feel that I got a good idea of how it would be like to be a trainee at the firm as I was given real work by partners, senior associates, associates and paralegals. I worked with different teams and got a real feel for how it is like to work as a Gateley employee.
I understood the company culture throughout the 2 weeks and definitely feel like the firm is a friendly, collaborative and engaging place to work. The people were incredibly friendly and I found it easy to talk to different members of staff who were always keen to talk about their experiences and assist me throughout my placement.
I developed an interest in areas of law that I had never considered before, after working with partners and senior associates in the restructuring team. This definitely assisted me in deciding on my future career path and the seats that I would like to experience as a trainee solicitor in the future.
The travel expenses to the Birmingham office for the first day summer vacation placement induction were reimbursed by Graduate Recruitment after sending a proof of travel receipt or invoice. The firm has also said that it will pay each summer vacation placement student £300 for each week of the vacation scheme.
Throughout the two weeks I have the opportunity to talk to different members of staff from the paralegals to the partners. On the first day induction, I networked with graduate recruitment and trainee solicitors.
The open plan office was also great as it allowed me to talk to different teams and lawyers and I learnt a lot about their experiences in the legal profession.
The vacation scheme students were invited to a restaurant for lunch and drinks as the social event. I found it incredibly enjoyable as it was nice to get to know the lawyers and support staff in an informal setting outside of work. Everyone was very friendly and I got along with them well.
I found out about the firm's social and sports activities and the fact that the firm appoints a charity to support each year. Employees at the firm can then support the charity throughout the year by fundraising and this is a great opportunity to give back to the local community.
I would recommend applying for the vacation scheme because it gives you a great insight into the work of a lawyer in several different practice areas, ranging from commercial and corporate to family and private client. Having the opportunity to work in different practice areas in a short space of time will help you in deciding what areas you see yourself working in.