Vacation Scheme Student at Simmons & Simmons LLP

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date
Less than £ 10,000
Banking and Finance Law Legal/Law


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

Everyone made a genuine effort to include me in both the social and professional aspects of Simmons. People were welcoming, helpful and engaging. All of the Grad Rec hosted activities were useful and a great way to ask questions and meet the other vac schemers. I left the Vac Scheme feeling like Simmons was a place I would love to work.


2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?

I received direct work from Partners, Managing Associates, Professional Support Lawyers, Trainees and Paralegals, all of whom were happy to sit down and talk through the work then provide feedback afterwards. Everyone trusted me with real responsibilities and was keen to get me involved. From a social side, I was even invited to Christmas drinks and allowed to compete in the bake off!


3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?

Regarding work, everyone I met was more than happy to help (and everyone provided such thorough feedback that I rarely needed it!). On the business side of things, Hazel, Aveer and Tracy in Grad Recruitment answered all questions and made us feel comfortable and supported throughout the week. My only qualm would be some very minor IT issues that I struggled to find anyone to help with for a while!


4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

As I have already graduated, this won't be particularly useful in an academic context. However, I spent the week with Restructuring lawyers and, as a Corporate Banking paralegal, I rarely get to see this side of Banking law at work. It was very interesting and will definitely guide my choices when thinking of TC seat options.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

There was a good balance between organised Grad Rec led activities, time spent in departments, talks, interactive sessions and networking or social events. From day one I had a well structured timetable and an Outlook calendar set up for me. Nothing was ever late or cancelled and everything seemed to run seamlessly.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The atmosphere was just so positive, welcoming and inspiring. All of the fee earners obviously work very hard and were excited to tell me about their work and get me involved. My trainee buddy was so friendly and helpful, and my supervisor would stay in regular contact to check I wasn't struggling and I had enough to do. I was even invited to a fancy Christmas party at the Barbican! I felt like one of the team!


7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

We had a lot of sessions on personal training and development. Sessions were hosted on developing a brand, goal setting, career motivations etc. by a variety of people within the firm. I was also able to attend a Fee Earner training session on how to instruct and manage foreign counsel which was very interesting.


8. To what extent did the insight help you to understand what it would be like to have a full time role with the company or firm?

I was treated like a Trainee! Nobody spoke down to me, people entrusted me with trainee-level work and I was able to get a good understanding of how the firm operated both on a practical level (e.g. capacity monitoring, work allocation etc.) and a cultural level (e.g. networking, social events).


9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?


10. How valuable was the content in helping you to decide on your future career path?

The content of the scheme was incredibly valuable in the sense that it helped to solidify my ideas that being a Solicitor was the correct path for me and Simmons were the ideal firm to work for. The work was exciting, the people were lovely and I really could see myself working there - and I have now accepted a TC offer!


Other Information

11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?

I was reimbursed for all travel expenses to attend the Assessment Centre and then paid £400 for the week during my Vacation Scheme. Several lunches (and lots of drinks!) were provided by the firm, and we had various social events (including a cooking school at Covent Garden) that was paid for by the firm.

12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

We had pretty regular drinks/lunches/catch ups with Grad Rec and the other Vac Schemers. I also had an organised partner coffee, attended the Banking Christmas party at the Barbican and went to School of Wok with vac schemers, trainees and grad rec where we learned to make dumplings! All super fun.


14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?

Outside of Fee Earning, we also had a session on pro bono work and the opportunities to get involved there. A few people within the firm also spoke to me about business development and opportunities to get involved with bids and pitches. I'm also now aware of the different initiative and sports teams that everyone can get involved with.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?