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  1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?
  2. This insight was incredible for helping me to decide whether or not I wanted to pursue commercial law as a career. All the staff were friendly and it was lovely to see such a wide variety of students on the programme too. I left with connections and friends for life, and I've seen been selected to go on the Summer Internship with them too so I would strongly recommend the insight.


  3. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?
    They put in so much effort into the programme. Breakfasts would be at the firm, as well as lunches and dinner on the first evening. Plus trainees would literally take time out of their own schedules to come talk to us. We were even honoured with the presence of Sandra Wallace and 2 Partners from the Hong Kong office.


  5. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?
  6. On the last day we had an application/interview/CV workshop which was really useful generally and for preparing for the Summer Internship interview.
    The Grad Rec staff were always on hand to answer any questions we had, and the other lawyers that were with us during activities would always come chat to us and make sure we were enjoying everything and were happy and understanding what the tasks were entailing.


  7. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
  8. Degree skills not so much, but career skills were 1000% developed. I'd never done a case study /negotiation workshop before and the session geared toward these skills helped me to go on to nail interviews including the Summer Internship interview.
    The multiple opportunities to publicly speak helped me to develop my confidence.


  9. How well structured was the insight?
  10. You cannot fault DLA Piper for its organisation skills. The programme was IMMACULATELY structured.
    Though you're at the firm for what is effectively a working day over the course of 3 days, it feels like you've been there for a whole week with the amount of activities you get to do. On the first day you're given a booklet with all the information about what each day will consist of and this is stuck to like anything.


  11. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?
  12. Because there were +70 students on the programme, it was a a super collegiate atmosphere amongst the students.
    With the staff at the firm, they were super friendly, approachable and willing to provide honest and candid insights into life at the firm. You could tell that this was them being genuine too.


  13. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
  14. I hate to think how much the firm actually spent in organising this insight scheme.
    They had resources, freebies, and went the extra mile to make sure that all the activities we took part in were activities in which we would come away either having learnt something or developed a new skill.


  15. 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?
  16. I'd say just because you're doing more tasks as opposed to shadowing that I didnt get an image of perhaps what a full-time role at DLA is like, however from the multiple networking opportunities I was able to grasp that the firm is big on work-life balance and that you are expected to work hard but that you are adequately rewarded for that.


  17. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?
  18. Because we had about 3 networking opportunities each day for 2 days I would say you really do get a feel for the culture at DLA. For instance, when we were in a session with the co-managing director for their European practice, you wouldnt have been able to tell because they were so down to earth, honest and humble. DLA's culture really stood out to me.


  19. How valuable was the content in helping you to decide on your future career path?
    I'm now a future trainee at another firm, however the scheme was invaluable in several ways.
    (1) developing the skills of a commercial lawyer
    (2) improving interview technique
    (3) understanding what the role of a commercial lawyer is
    (4) thorough knowledge of M&A deals

    I got a confirmation from the scheme that the work of a commercial lawyer is hard but rewarding and that's what im in for.


  21. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?
    Paid for travel from Manchester to London
    Paid for a 3* hotel from Sunday to Wednesday (it had a spa, pool and a gym)
    £20 dinner stipend on Sunday
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the firm on Monday
    Breakfast and lunch at the firm on Tuesday
    £20 dinner stipend on Tuesdau
    Breakfast and lunch at the firm on Wednesday
    £20 dinner spidend on Wednesday
    Paid for travel from London to Manchester

    Some people even got their Tube tickets reimbursed.
    I spent about £7 over the course of 3 days.

  23. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?
  24. Networking opportunities:
    Breakfast on Monday, Tuesday and Weds
    Lunch on Monday, Tuesday and Weds
    Dinner on Monday
    Case study session with Trainees
    2x sessions with 2 Hong Kong Partners
    2x sessions with trainees (panel)

    Over the course of 3 days I met people who were in their second seat to people who were right at the top of the business.


  25. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?
  26. Pretty good.

    Dinner on Monday was super informal and a great way to get to know the other students and some of the trainees. It was also a nice way to get acquainted with the Grad Rec staff.
    Other breakfasts and dinner, it was nice to catch up with trainees that we met the days before and ask them about what their days were life.
    There were so fixed social opportunities, but in the hotel, a bunch of us watched the football together and often dined together too.


  27. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?
  28. Not that much.
    However, in the panel sessions trainees/associates/partners would talk about what they're personally doing.
    E.g. DLA has societies for minority groups and a lot of people get involved in those as well as within the several pro bono intiatives that they run.
    They also spoke about how they are encouraged to get involved with out of work activities like volunteering at the local LAC


  29. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?
  30. Yes
    If you're unsure as to whether you want to pursue a career (a) in commercial law and (b) in the City, this is the best insight scheme you can get on.
    You make friends for life and it is such a foot in the door if you actually do decide to pursue a commercial career.
    My insights from this firm helped to later secure the Summer Internship as well as a bunch of other offer from leading City firms.
    The firm invests a lot of money and time into the scheme and it definitely pays off well.


  31. In addition to these questions, is there any extra information you would like to leave about your experiences on your work placement that other students may be interested in?

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Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)

Commercial Law

Central London and City

28th March 2020


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