I found the vacation scheme to be an excellent way, not only to learn a great deal about the firm and its ethics and values, but also how it is applied in the professional sphere. the group activities were highly enjoyable, incorporating concept and ideas generation as well as group bonding exercises, which helped us to settle in with other people on the scheme. the variety and depth of tasks that were required of us was refreshing, being given positions of responsibility as well as the opportunity to learn.
The firm made each member feel highly valued and a part of the team, being able to work alongside established lawyers in the field, and given access to supervisors and other colleagues in the departments to ensure we had no trouble understanding or being able to effectively implementing the tasks given, both for clients and the general group tasks given to the people on the scheme
The structure of the scheme entailed having access to 2 people per individual, one of them being a personal mentor, to whom we could come and discuss any concerns or general queries regarding the firm, life, work and any other questions which were not to be assessed. in terms of the professional side, we were given the support of a supervisor, who was responsible for the setting of tasks, as well as overseeing the progress and completion of the legal tasks set.
The skills necessary to do well in the scheme, are highly transferable in any professional working environment, as the week involved having to deploy networking skills to get to know other trainees as well the colleagues on the scheme. the work being done over the course of the week involved having good time management, attention to detail, enthusiasm to learn as well as a willingness to think laterally. all of these attributes are vital for being able to excel in degree format, through demonstrating such a variety of skills.
The structure of the insight was perfectly balanced, in giving a workload which had the necessary depth to be able to challenge oneself, yet enough spare time and flexibility to arrange for meetings, catch ups and opportunities to work on group presentations. each day was varied enough to add interest to every day, and prevent any boredom or mundane work days..
the general atmosphere was highly supportive and encouraging. each person around me seemed happy to be there, working closely in teams which felt more like a family. The staff all want to produce work of an elite standard, and so are clearly driven to take pride in the firm's output, through striving for excellence in all pieces of work- small or otherwise.
the firm invested highly in the vac schemers, ensuring we all went through the requisite IT training needed to assimilate with the firm's technology and protocols. the firm also provided a large range of talks and presentations to help us learn more about what working life would be like and also took us out for a meal and other social activities.
this was an ideal opportunity to gain a snapshot as to what life would be like working at the highest level in a bustling magic circle firm. this insight lived up to its expectations, through providing a varied, yet highly detailed itinerary full of relevant activities and real legal work and research akin to what legal practice would encompass
This vac scheme was the ideal opportunity to gain a detailed picture into what kind of Law firm Allen and Overy is. The ethics and values that the firm is built around, permeate not just through its walls, but also through the people, be it the support workers needed for the firm's infrastructure or the legal fee earners who conduct the client work. I was highly impressed by the firm's outlook on pro bono as well as charity work in particular.
the core content that the day was revolved around was highly relevant and specifically tailored to showcasing both sides of working in a law firm, including the technical legal work which the firm specialises in, which helps solve client's legal needs and complex situations. however the firm also achieved a balance in being able to show us the more relaxed vibes around the office, with a sense of common team spirit and bonding.
I was paid for the duration, at a competitive market rate, which is reflective of other magic circle law firms, competing with other law firms and london branches in particular. I feel as though the remuneration was adequate considering the hours worked and the calibre of work we were completing for the firm and it's clients.
there were a range of opportunities to broaden and expand one's network, through the firm arranging evening drinks and events, which were attended by alumni of the programme, established lawyers of the firms, as well as associates who were our trainers alongside our mentors. this was overall a great way to meet a large number of people in a short but efficient space of time.
the social event opportunities were a good way to meet people at different stages of their legal careers. it was intriguing to see so many different departments and associates each have a unique experience at the firm, which the networking events allowed me to understand firsthand, as well as allowing me to be able to meet other trainees.
there was a presentation on the different work networks and socials which occurred at the firm, such as those revolving around helping raise awareness of marginalised groups. this was pleasing to hear, as it increases the inclusivity and diversity of the firm, with its various BME networks and LGBTQ communities.
I would highly recommend this insight to a friend, as it is an excellent way not only to gain more knowledge of the firm and intricacies of how it operates, but also as a general way to enhance skills which are necessary for a fast paced business environment. The perks offered by the firm were more than satisfactory, and the week was definitely enjoyable.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Central London and City
1st February 2020