Summer Vacation Scheme at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Duration
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Region
London
Review Date

Connect with this company

4.3/5

About You
4.5
The Company
4.2
Everything Else
4.4

Role Description

1 week virtual summer vacation scheme with BCLP (because of Covid-19).

About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

The vacation scheme had become virtual because of Covid-19 and so I was expecting less from the scheme. However, I was mistaken. I thoroughly enjoyed the scheme, as I got to attend numerous sessions and socials with the firm. I got to arrange coffees with trainees, associates, senior associates and partners. I also heard a session from the UK managing partner. The trainee buddy system was helpful in understanding the dynamics of the firm and as a person to refer to whenever you need anything. Overall, the scheme was very enjoyable despite being virtual.
5 /5

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

I definitely felt valued the entire time. There were several sessions per day, which were conducted by different people within the firm. The sessions were clearly well prepared and the individuals allowed us to email them if we had further questions or arranged a call if we wanted to chat. The array of people who spoke to us made me feel valued, as I knew they invested in us, even as vacation scheme students.
5 /5

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

The Graduate Recruitment team were generally the point of call, as they arranged a whatsapp group for us to message on whenever we had a query. Also, we could email them as well and they would respond promptly. In addition, we were each assigned a trainee buddy, and mine was extremely helpful and accommodating; she arranged four calls with me over the span of five days to ensure I was getting on okay. Apart from this, some of the lawyers within the firm were supportive. One partner even arranged several calls with me to discuss any general questions and find out how I was getting on.
5 /5

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

As the vac scheme was online, we did not get to complete any actual work. Still, we had interactive sessions with case studies and we were assigned typical trainee tasks that we submitted for feedback. I think the sessions in general and completing these tasks gave me an insight into many different legal departments which I was not aware of beforehand. Also, partners were happy to share any resources to uncover more about a certain department if I wished. Overall, what I learnt will help me in the future, both during my LPC and during my career as a lawyer.
4 /5

The Company

5. How well structured was the insight?

The scheme was structured really well. We had access to a website called HighQ, which had a diary of the sessions per day. Also, it provided an option to request coffees, which was really helpful. The balance between our time in sessions and our "free time" to speak to different people and find out more about the firm was quite good. I definitely think I made the most out of the scheme.
5 /5

6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The atmosphere was great. We had a whatsapp group which was always active, and allowed me to get to know the other vacation scheme students. In addition, we had two socials arranged, one was an Escape Room social which was a lot of fun and the other was a trainee networking lunch which was enjoyable too. The atmosphere was friendly, enjoyable, supportive which is a testament to BCLP's culture for sure.
4 /5

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

As I mentioned before, BCLP really invested in me and the other vacation scheme students. The partners were willing to have coffee with us whenever we needed and talk to us over email. So, if I needed a better insight into something mentioned in one of the sessions, I emailed that particular lawyer who was always happy to talk to me. A lot of time and effort was spent into ensuring the scheme ran smoothly and that we learnt a lot from it.
5 /5

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?

We heard from people of differing seniority levels who shared their experiences within the firm and also what their day-to-day routine is within the firm. This helped me understand what is expected. However, having not been in the firm, this may not have been as optimal as a vacation scheme within the firm.
4 /5

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

I definitely got a sense of the culture throughout the scheme, which is non-hierarchical and definitely an open-door policy. BCLP prides itself on its culture, and that came through on the scheme. As I mentioned before, everyone was willing to arrange a call if I had any questions and nobody viewed me as "inferior" to them because I was a vacation scheme student.
4 /5

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

I knew I wanted to be a solicitor before the scheme, but I never had any actual work experience in a city law firm until this vacation scheme. Gaining an insight into the work that is undertaken at the firm and the high-profile clients that the firm works with was invaluable.
5 /5

Everything Else

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

We were paid £400 per week and were also given JustEat vouchers for our virtual socials so that we could order food. Also, when attending the assessment centre for the scheme, I was reimbursed on my travel expenses. The amount we were paid is competitive compared to other firms in the City and so I certainly think it was adequate.

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

Yes, we had a trainee networking lunch where we were assigned to smaller groups and could speak to trainees in different seats. The other social was also a chance to network and build connections. Furthermore, the sessions allowed me to email lawyers and ask them to arrange calls, which helped me network and understand their practice.
5 /5

13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

As the scheme was virtual, the social events were a pleasant surprise compared to what I was expecting. The Escape Room was a lot of fun and thrilling, working with different people across the firm to solve the mystery. The networking lunch was also enjoyable. Also, the vouchers we were given was a bonus as we could order nice meals. However, I felt like we were missing the real social element that is in a face-to-face vacation scheme.
4 /5

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

Yes, I did. We had sessions on the different initiatives that the firm offers, which includes pro bono work with Sonali Gardens and REPRIEVE. They also get involved in activities such as sports within the firm. But outside work and the office, I uncovered that lawyers do have a decent work-life balance and can continue to participate in activities they enjoy.
5 /5

15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

I certainly would. I cannot compare this experience to anything else, as I gained invaluable experience from the sessions, the virtual coffees and during the scheme in general. It is also a good way to really get to know the firm, its culture and to build connections, which is crucial.
5 /5