Vacation Scheme at Herbert Smith Freehills

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


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

Role Description

Vacation Scheme student

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I really enjoyed the vacation scheme. I got to get involved in real work from the get-go, and so the time in the office flew by in a really positive way. I also got to meet a wide range of people in practice groups that I wasn't sat in as well.


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

Overall I did feel valued during my time at HSF. At times, some of my supervisors were pretty busy which is completely understandable due to the nature of their work, but it did mean that I was (very occasionally) left in the lurch with nothing to do. Even when this happened they were very apologetic and made it up later in the week by spending more time with me. I was always introduced to everyone on my floor and everyone knew my name


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

There was never a point during the vacation scheme when I didn't have enough guidance or support. My supervisors were always very happy to answer questions, as well as my trainee buddy. The graduate recruitment team even had a catch-up session on a one-to-one basis during the scheme to see how we were finding things.


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

What I learned during the vacation scheme won't really help with my work at university as the skills required in both instances are very different and I wasn't expecting to gain skills for my degree. However, my experience working at the firm will be very useful for when I do enter the world of work.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

Very well structured. On the first day, we were given a binder with the whole two weeks' timetable laid out clearly. Calendar invites were also sent out to our work email addresses, which meant that you always knew where you were meant to be at any point. There was a good balance between presentations and work too.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The general atmosphere was good. However, as it was the run-up to Christmas, it was clear that some lawyers were under considerable pressure to get work done before the end of the year, which meant that there was some ambient stress around the office. Despite this, the atmosphere was never negative


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


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?

It was a great experience of what it would be like to work at the firm. The office hours obviously weren't as long as they would be in reality but the type of work I was given and the environment I was in was just as if I was working at the firm as an employee.


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

Multiple social events mean that I was able to properly experience the company culture. I was invited to and attended a few group get-togethers and parties (as it was the run-up to Christmas period), which meant I got to know people relatively well. I was also often given work from multiple people in each group so I got to understand how everyone worked as a team.


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


Other Information

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

Reimbursement was adequate, however I think the firm could consider paying for accommodation expenses in addition to the salary as the salary becomes quite low once accommodation is booked if you're not a London resident. Alternatively, they could arrange accommodation like they do for the international vacation schemes. This said, I was never stuck for cash, but I think the situation could be improved.

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


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

There were lots of networking and social opportunities during the week. I met people from the different committees and groups at the firm as well as partners, associates, and trainees. The networking events were relaxed, and there wasn't a pressure to 'show off' or anything like that. It was really well done.


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


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?