It was an amazing experience. The 2 weeks went by so fast and I felt immersed in the firm and took in all the information that was thrown my way. I enjoyed the workshops the most because I had the opportunity to learn more about the core departments which compensated for the fact that I would not have had the time to have a seat in all of them during the vacation scheme.
I felt valued during my time at the firm because of the fact the department work assigned to me was engaging and I truly felt like I was contributing to the bigger picture. I learnt so much and when I was unsure of a concept, everyone in my department was extremely helpful. I also received feedback for the work that I had done which was a good learning opportunity. We also had the opportunity to directly interact with the firm's clients through the pitch presentation and pro bono work.
I received an incredible amount of guidance and support. From day one, I felt extremely valued at the firm. I had lunch with my trainee buddy who was more than happy to answer my questions as well as give me some tips on how to make the most of my vacation scheme. Throughout my vacation scheme, she was amazing and the support she gave me put all my nerves at ease. Furthermore, throughout the experience, I had several informal chats/coffees with various lawyers from across the firm. This made the experience fantastic because I enjoyed hearing the different journey's that different people have been on - it definitely kept me motivated to keep pushing.
I developed my research and analytical skills because I had to research various areas of law and draft a comprehensive note on the topic. This is an extremely important skill to develop because as a trainee, my job will encompass carrying out research tasks on areas that I will not be familiar with. Furthermore, my organisation skills were enhanced as I had to balance my department work, workshops and networking events. This will assist me in the future as a trainee and beyond in any high-pressure environment.
It was well structured. We received the schedule on the first day of the scheme and it was very detailed. I always knew where I was supposed to be. Communication with the graduate recruitment team was also amazing. They responded to every query that I had and always informed us about any changes
In both my departments, everyone was genuinely so friendly and approachable. During my first week, the partner who sat in the next office came in to have a casual chat with me and this was the same kind of energy that I received throughout the scheme. Everyone on the vacation scheme also had a one on one with the Graduate Recruitment Partner who was friendly and genuinely wanted to know more about who we were. I also attended the Pride Event which was so much fun and there were games like giant Jenga to play. The vac scheme group also got on really well and on the last day, we all met after work as a last goodbye/celebration. Finally, the graduate recruitment team and current trainees were friendly and approachable and made me feel comfortable the whole vacation scheme. Because of this, during the socials, I truly felt like I could let my hair down and enjoy it.
The company invested a lot in me. From working on a pro bono project with one of their clients to presenting a pitch to attending every single workshop that was scheduled in, I do not know what more they could have done. I also received feedback from trainees, associates and partners on my work which was incredible for personal growth.
The scheme was significantly helpful becuase the tasks that I was assigned were exactly what the trainees in my department were doing. I even got instructions from the Manchester office which helped me understand how integrated the firm is. Furthermore, undertaking the pitch presentation gave me an insight into what life beyond being a trainee would be like.
It helped me a lot because I had many interactions with trainees, associates and partners. At the end of the vacation scheme, there was a half-year celebration where everyone in the department met in the department common area and we just had an open conversation about anything that was going on. It was a good way to say goodbye but also understand the company culture.
The vacation scheme reaffirmed my desire to work for BCLP because of the combination of work and people. It is the type of place where I can see myself progress and develop professionally but also make life long friends with my colleagues. I was offered a training contract at the end of it and I did not hesitate to accept it because BCLP is the place that I want to start and grow my career.
I was paid for the experience which was enough to cover my commute from East Sussex. At the time I was looking for accommodation, the prices were high and thus I decided to commute for the period although my journey was only 1 and a half hours (door to door).
There were a lot of opportunities for networking. Every single night there were social events attended by different lawyers and graduate recruitment. Aside from the group networking events, I had a number of one on one chats with different partners who gave up their invaluable time. We also had a workshop that involved a live stream with a couple of BCLP offices from around the world.
They were fun and interactive and made me feel like a full-time employee at the firm. If I was not commuting to the outside of London I would have stayed much longer but I had to leave relatively early in order not to miss the train back. Nevertheless, they were great opportunities because we went to beautiful places that I had no idea existed and when we were in the firm the atmosphere was great.
Yes, I learnt a lot about their pro bono work and even met one of their clients. I also learnt about their sports teams that everyone gets involved with Furthermore, I learnt about how I could get involved with their diversity and inclusion initiatives as a trainee which I am looking forward to.
I would definitely recommend this scheme to anyone. I learnt so many skills and developed my knowledge of how a city law firm of that calibre works. It was challenging but also fulfilling at the end of the day because you gain a sense of accomplishment after successfully completing the rigorous but enjoyable scheme.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
27th October 2019