Intern for Vacation Scheme
I enjoyed the Virtual Internship very much, I could really tell that DLA Piper had put a lot of time and effort into making sure we could meet as many people from the firm as possible despite it having to be virtual! I definitely gained a true insight into the firm culture.
I felt extremely valued during the Internship. DLA Piper kept stressing that it's as much about us getting to know the firm as it is about them getting to know us, which I really appreciated. They also stressed how important their junior lawyers are for the future of the firm.
They did an excellent job with ensuring we had good support whilst preparing for our virtual pitch presentations at the end of the week. It was easy to talk to trainees. Contact with the Graduate Recruitment Team was also excellent in the lead up, and during the Internship. I imagine it will be the same in the weeks after as well.
The Internship was more geared towards learning about what the firm offers. I definitely got a stronger sense of what each practice area does at DLA Piper, and feel as though my knowledge of the field of commercial law has improved generally. This isn't directly applicable to my degree, but it helped me to realise how what I've learned IN my degree can be applied in practice.
Very well structured. Each day we received an agenda - everyone was extremely punctual. Some of the zoom meetings went over their allocated time, but this made me feel as though the speakers really cared about getting to know us and answering our questions. That definitely made me feel valued.
Everyone was very polite and lovely during the Internship, and eager to get to know each other. I definitely could sense this from Graduate Recruitment as well, despite the limitations of a virtual Internship. It was a bit harder perhaps to portray my personality through the medium of video, especially to the partners in my respective office. I hope this does not put me at a disadvantage, as meeting people through video doesn't give people the full picture of your personality.
There weren't "development" sessions - it was more about learning about the firm, their networks and programmes, and meeting trainees, associates and partners within the offices. We got a sense of the Firm's hierarchy. The group presentation provides a bit of a chance for development, and we received some tips and tricks from those we talked to, but most of this work was done independently.
They did an excellent job making sure those that spoke told us about their role in the firm, a day in the life, and the general vibe of the firm. I feel much more informed on the firm's values and culture, which were of primary focus and seem to drive all work undertaken at DLA Piper.
Similarly to the last question, I got a strong sense of the firm's culture from this week. Everyone that spoke seemed to touch on it. I like how value-driven the firm is. They also encouraged us to be ourselves and that there's no one way to be a lawyer, which was nice! It's just a shame that we couldn't meet in person, because again, it's kind of hard to portray your personality over video.
I'm already pretty set on my career path, so the content wouldn't have swayed me much either way in term of being a commercial solicitor. However, I am now fully sure that I would love a role at DLA Piper. This week definitely made me confident that I would thrive there.
We were paid, which was nice considering that some firms have cancelled their schemes all together this year. However, it was more about the experience of getting to know the firm rather than the amount we were paid.
There were definite opportunities to meet people within the office I've applied to and also during the trainee drop in sessions. I also liked the idea of having a buddy to help answer any questions we had as well. Working in our groups has also been enjoyable as I have really gotten to know my group members, and hope to work with them as a trainee someday!
I appreciated DLA Piper's attempt to socialise virtually with a trainee quiz at the end of the first day. It was nice to meet trainees and to have a laugh. They also gave us a £25 for dinner that night, which was a very kind gesture! I understand there would've been loads more opportunities in an in-person Internship, but given the circumstances, they did the best they could.
I loved learning about the pro-bono activities that DLA Piper undertakes, specifically in each office. It seems like they do a lot of fun charity events that I would love to be a part of. Also, we got to hear about how the office 'socialised' during lockdown, and it sounded like so much fun.
Yes, everyone was so lovely! It was a great way to get to know DLA Piper, and a great way to learn about how a massive commercial law firm operates. Even if I don't get a training contract, it was insightful and I will likely keep in touch with those I've met!