Really great vacation scheme, given real work to do and plenty of support on offer if needed. Everyone willing to help and good opportunities to get work from different people across your department.
Everyone was genuinely appreciative of the work I did and and they really made an effort to make me feel part of the team even though I was there for a short period of time.
There was a useful training morning on the first day so that we knew the basics (e.g. how their computer systems worked) and you are always sat near your supervisor who is able to give really useful guidance.
Helped me to understand how to make my writing style more concise
Really well structured, you sit in two departments (one department each week) and with plenty of socials to enable you to get to know different people across the firm
Office has a really nice atmosphere, even when people clearly have a lot of work on, they're still willing to make time for you
The scheme begins with a training morning, which is a really useful way of getting to grips with its IT systems and to get to know your way around the office. They also give you some tips on how to impress during the scheme. Furthermore, there is a review with your supervisor at the end of each seat which is a useful way of reflecting on your strengths and areas for improvement.
The scheme gives you a great insight into what it's like to be there full time. Firstly, you are always given real work to do, which gives you direct insight into what the firm's lawyers do day-to-day. Also, the fact that the office is open plan really helps because you get to see and hear what different members in the firm do.
Gave a really good insight into the culture of the firm. Firstly, the open plan nature of the office lets you see how partners and associates interact with trainees, which shows that it is a firm with a really welcoming culture. Secondly, you're given plenty of opportunity to meet people across the firm which shows that this welcoming culture is reflected across all the departments.
In summary, it convinced me that commercial law was a career that I wanted to pursue. It did this because of the fact that we were given real work to do, which was valuable because it enabled me to make a truly informed decision about whether I liked the day-to-day nature of the role. The fact that you moved between department (one commercial seat, one insurance) was also valuable because it meant that you got to see a variety of areas of law.
The pay is £300 per week, which I thought was fair compared to what similar schemes pay. There were also numerous times when the firm paid for dinner during the evening socials, and they give you a card for the canteen to cover the cost of lunch. They also contribute towards your costs of getting down to London.
There were loads of opportunities. There were two breakfast networking sessions (one for insurance, one for commercial) with both trainees and associates which enabled you to get a great understanding of all the different departments in the firm; both what they did and what it was like to work in them. There was also an afternoon tea with partners, and several socials in the evenings with the trainees, which gave a great insight into what it was like to train with the firm.
The networking opportunities were really valuable. They took place in a fairly informal setting, which made it easier to ask the firm's lawyers questions about what they did and how they found their work. Another useful aspect of these was that there weren't so many social opportunities that you didn't have time to finish your work, and my supervisors always made sure that I didn't have so much work that I couldn't attend them.
There are plenty of activities that employees can get involved in. There are numerous alliance networks across the firm for those who are in minority groups, and we found out about the pro bono opportunities, which enabled the firm's lawyers to do things like tutoring in disadvantaged schools. We as vacation scheme students were even asked if we wanted to join the firm on the London Pride march, and the firm also has numerous sports teams which the trainees are involved in.
I'd definitely recommend the vacation scheme to a friend. The primary reason for this is that the fact that they give a varied workload and always give you real work to do enables you to make a really informed decision about whether it is the career for you. Also, the firm really goes out of its way to make you feel welcome, and you always feel able to ask questions if you're unsure about something.