Winter Vacation Scheme Intern at Shearman & Sterling LLP

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date
Banking and Finance Law Corporate Law


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

Role Description

Two-week vacation scheme at the beginning of December working at Shearman & Sterling LLP.

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

The insight was an excellent way of getting to know the firm and its people, as well as being fully immersed in the work Shearman do. Having never done any legal work experience before I was a bit nervous about how I would find it, but very quickly I realised that I had definitely chosen the right career.


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

I felt immediately welcomed by the graduate recruitment team at Shearman; the cooking class on the first evening was a particularly good way of getting to know them outside the office. My teams were also great at involving me in both work and social life with corridor introductions and lunches. I was even invited to a closing lunch which was incredibly kind and a really good way of interacting with people in a more relaxed setting.


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

The graduate recruitment team were great throughout, giving tips on how best to ask for more work and what experiences to capitalise on. One of my supervisors was unfortunately incredibly busy so we had almost no interaction, but the other team more than made up for this and I felt very well supported by both my supervisor and my trainee mentor during that week.


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

It was incredibly useful to see the law in practice, as there is only so much you can understand the legal sector by studying just the theory. Some of the tasks I worked on gave me a basic understanding of the different elements of business, for example, which will be good to build on in the future. Others were much more complex and enabled me to see how different aspects of the GDL come together.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

The vacation scheme was very well structured; I think it is an excellent idea to have a week each in two different practice areas, because it gives a more rounded experience and allows early comparison between them. I also liked having the formal assessments at the start of the second week, because then I was able to focus purely on the work I was doing.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The general atmosphere was really good, helped along by the variety of social activities that were put on for us. I think these were also spread out well during the two weeks and gave us something to look forward to. It was also nice to have one night just for the vac schemers to get to know one another a bit more.


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

I enjoyed being given ownership of the tasks I was doing; even though I knew they would probably be checked over by someone else, I felt like I was contributing positively. There was a significant difference in the personal development support from my trainee mentors, though, as one was fantastic and the other seemed a little more hesitant to give constructive support.


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 think the two-week vac scheme portrayed the firm in a very positive light, from the work to the people to the relaxed yet productive atmosphere. I particularly enjoyed having two weeks to experience the firm, because I got a more rounded view and felt like I had settled in by the time the scheme was over.


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

Being a part of two different teams enabled me to see how certain teams work in a variety of ways. For example, one of the teams was a little more reserved than the other. It was good to get to know lots of people from different practice areas to get a broader exposure to the culture.


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

I am pursuing a career in law having changed from the education sector, and so to begin with I had no tangible evidence that law was the career I really aspired to. This vacation scheme cemented my belief that I made the right choice in leaving teaching, and tickled my tastebuds for being employed full-time.


Other Information

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

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

The graduate recruitment team were very good at encouraging us to speak to a variety of people, either from our practice area or another. Other employees were really happy to grab a quick coffee and answer any questions, which made it a lot easier to approach them and get their perspective on the firm.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

The variety of social events was excellent. The cooking class was a really nice ice-breaker, especially as it's something that most people had never done before, and the first-week drinks were a lovely touch. Post-assessment Duck & Waffle was a particular highlight despite the niggles with the service, so all-in-all I couldn't think of anything that would be a better choice.


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

Apart from the various diversity groups, there wasn't that much information on whether there were sporting/musical activities linked to the firm. This is perhaps something that could be addressed briefly, even if just to clarify how many opportunities there are to employees (although having time to take part is probably a different matter).


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

I would definitely recommend the vacation scheme to anyone thinking of going into corporate law. It was a great way of experiencing how law actually works, especially for someone who has had no practical experience, and gives a valuable opportunity to test out whether law really is the right career for you.