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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
THEY ARE SO GENEROUS.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.