I found the week fun and enjoyable when doing work and co-operating with other people. The talks were useful and informative and gave an insight into the workings of the firm, its philosophy and working environment. The staff were always engaging and supportive whilst the planned activities such as dinner at the Ritz and the welcome/ leaving drinks were great.
I found the experience of seeing the workings of such a large law firm really inspiring and it has made me pursue a career in law. The tasks I was set, particularly by my trainer were really informative and she was very happy to give explanations both of the legal and business aspects.
The support given was fantastic to the point that sometimes it became overbearing. The number of events and talks that had to be given did mean that a lot of time was taken away from the time spent with the trainer that was ultimately the most valuable. However, the buddy system was really useful.
The skills I developed that were particularly useful were close reading of texts and being able to engage with people on topics that I was ill informed. However, as I study History the legal aspects of the week were not particularly useful. The main beneficial experience was the experience of a professional legal environment.
The whole week was effectively planned and this meant that it was clearly organised and well structured. There was always something to do and it was clear what the task at hand was. This allowed the week to be as effective and beneficial as possible and that time was efficiently spent.
The atmosphere was in general positive. The air of constant assessment made certain aspects of the week sightly peculiar but the whole week was fun and everyone from fellow vac schemers to staff and colleagues were kind, helpful and generous. Allen & Overy was incredibly welcoming and accepting, particularly as so many had been through a similar process.
I thought the firm was placing a significant investment in me as an individual. Both in terms of my own development and their assessment of whether i was the right person to be given a training contract. This was both in terms of access to partners and associates as well as the payment of the week.
The insight was particularly helpful through the trainer- vac schemer relationship. They were able to tell us about the company whilst at work, thus demonstrating the environment and its nature. Furthermore, the talks from members of staff was extremely helpful and made it worthwhile. The opportunity to talk to the managing partner was very interesting.
Though payment was high at £450, this did largely only cover the cost of living in London and commuting across the city. It appeared that this meant the week significantly favoured those who already lived in London. It seemed that for those who lived in the city the week was paid as those who lived outside, it just covered expenses.
I actually found out very little about activities outside of work activities. The gym was obvious and the inclusivity workshop was really effectively given. However, other activities were difficult to find and largely bypassed over. I was interested in sports teams but this was not really covered over than the fact that they exist and run through their captains.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
6th January 2020