I had a great time on the vacation scheme!
The firm had clearly put a huge effort into organising the scheme. I think graduate recruitment recognised that vacation schemes can be stressful and did everything they could to make us more comfortable - e.g. offering to put us in contact with people in seats we were interested in, delivering a presentation on how to do well during the scheme, organising an icebreaker on the first day etc. I also liked the fact that they responded very quickly with the results of both my vacation scheme and training contract applications.
Plenty. Everyone I spoke to was keen to help. I had a trainee buddy who would regularly check in on me/take me to lunch. Associates and trainees in my seat offered me interview and presentation advice if I asked, and were always willing to explain the context around tasks they had given me. I also received contact from people in the firm prior to the scheme (asking if I had any questions before I started) and afterwards (questions about the TC.)
I think the skills sessions that the firm ran will be very useful. Presentations/advocacy were not part of my degree, so it was useful to have sessions on these skills. I think the case studies were also useful in teaching me about the role of lawyers in the corporate/banking seats (which I did not sit in during the scheme.)
Really well structured! We had a timetable of events which kept us busy, and both of my supervisors were aware that this would take me out of my seat for certain periods of time during the day. The only thing I would say is that I felt I didn't have as much time in my second seat before the training contract interview. However, the last two days weren't as busy and I was able to spend more time there before I left the firm.
Atmosphere was great. I got on really well with the other people on the scheme, and grad rec discouraged a competitive atmosphere. I think that putting us in presentation teams really helped too (plus we got to know eachother better.) Was definitely an atmosphere in which you were encouraged to ask questions/chat to people, and if they had time they'd always be happy to talk.
A lot. The firm got external consultants to do induction sessions, plus presentations about how to pitch to clients and how to understand the financial markets. A senior associate gave me 45 minutes of feedback on a piece of work that I'd done for him to help me improve it. I also received feedback on my vacation scheme interview prior to the training contract interview.
The work that I was given was described as 'classic trainee tasks' so it was a pretty realistic depiction of what it would be like to be a trainee at the firm. People at all levels were also available to discuss how they had found working at the firm/what they liked about it.
Really helpful. I think that obviously people were nicer to us because we were on a vac scheme, but I did another vacation scheme too and definitely felt a difference in the culture at Hogan Lovells. E.g. I e-mailed a partner to ask about something and he immediately rang me to talk about it on the phone. I couldn't really imagine this happening at the other firm I did a vacation scheme at.
Made me certain that I wanted to work at the firm.
There were plenty of opportunities for networking. Unlike my other vacation scheme, this was done in a relatively informal setting which made it easier to talk to partners etc. In both of my seats, I was introduced to the entire team. People would regularly drop by my desk to introduce themselves or chat to me. I was able to go for coffees with associates in seats that I had not been assigned during the scheme in order to find out more about them.
Really good. We had a networking session on the first night, a mentor social, and a dinner and partner lunch after we had finished our training contract interviews. The socials were balanced really well with the work and I was able to get to know a lot of current trainees.
We had a talk about pro-bono (and fee earners were always happy to chat to you about this), I was invited to drinks with the team from one of my seats, and we were given the contact information for the employee networks/sports teams if we wanted more information about those.
Definitely! I think this scheme is a really good way to work out if you would be well suited to the culture of Hogan Lovells. The work you are given during the scheme is also trainee level, and the feedback and development sessions the firm runs are really helpful in working out what is expected of a commercial lawyer/whether that's the career path for you.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
18th December 2019