3 week vacation scheme that was reduced to a 1 week virtual experience due to COVID-19.
I really enjoyed it! It was so well managed, and the team made it feel as natural and comfortable as possible, providing lots of opportunities to meet different students on the vacation scheme and different lawyers across the firm. Furthermore, the group project we were set was interesting and it was fun to get to know other members of the vacation scheme.
While we did not get to participate in any live cases, the team did ensure that the experience was special, emphasising our importance to the future of the firm and their desire to help us make big decisions about our future.
Furthermore, they were in touch regularly and in advance of the programme, so we were never left wondering about the fate of the vacation scheme.
We were all given a trainee buddy in advance of the scheme to chat to via email and skype. Then during the experience, zoom drop-ins were arranged with trainees so that we could get help for our group project and presentation. All the lawyers who talked to us (whether trainees or partners) all offered invaluable advice and support, answering as many of our questions as possible and offering words of wisdom.
The experience was hugely informative about DLA Piper and has definitely enhanced my knowledge of the firm - this will help me make decisions about my future with the firm. Furthermore, the group project was a great way to enhance my virtual collaboration skills, as well as learn about pitching to clients.
So well structured and organised!! Cannot stress this enough. The graduate recruitment team were in regular contact with us, easing our worries during this unprecedented time. We were posted a notebook and schedule plan so we knew exactly what to expect from each day. The schedule also included pictures of all 99 vacation scheme students so we could get to know each other.
It is difficult virtually to create the same atmosphere we would have experienced in the office. But due to the wide array of social activities (a quiz run by the trainees on the first day!), speed networking, drop in sessions, talks and panels, we could get as much of a feel for the atmosphere as possible over Zoom.
I think DLA Piper really invested in us. All the talks were designed to help us learn more about the firm and help us to make our decisions about our future. They really understood what we wanted from the vacation scheme and tried to replicate this virtually as best as possible.
We got to speak to a wide range of lawyers from a variety of levels within the firm, from a range of offices, and a range of practice groups. There were lots of opportunities to ask questions and find out anything you wanted about life at DLA Piper. Furthermore, all the talks were designed to help us understand all aspects of life at the firm.
Talking to a variety of people allowed us to see the type of people we would be working with in the future. As well as getting to ask questions about their experiences. Lots of lawyers had trained at the firm - which spoke volumes - and those that hadn't were willing to compare helpfully their experiences with DLA Piper and its culture.
The experience has fuelled my desire to work at DLA Piper in the future. The whole experience has been incredibly useful, positive and encouraging. The content of the talks ranged from diversity networks, pro bono, responsible business, how the firm runs, promotion opportunities, and the different sectors and practice areas.
We would have had our travel and lunches paid for if we have been in the office I believe. DLA Piper also paid for a take away for us all on the first night to enjoy alongside the quiz - we were given a £25 justeat voucher, which I thought was a great idea and generous. They consistently went above and beyond expectations
Yes yes yes! So many of opportunities for meeting people and networking. I was concerned we would miss out on this aspect due to the experience moving online. But DLA Piper recognised that this is an important aspect of any vacation scheme and designed the programme with this in mind.
The main social event was a quiz run by trainees on the first night. This was really fun and a good introduction to the week. We were placed in teams with other students who should have been based in the same office as us - and the breakout room function on Zoom was used so we could get to know each other and complete the quiz!
The best networking opportunity was the speed networking, where breakout rooms were also used effectively so we could meet a range of lawyers from different practice areas.
Yes. We were told about the sports teams, art lessons, music lessons, gym facilities etc. And if someone did not mention these aspects in their talk, there was always time to ask lots of questions. We were also given dedicated talks about pro bono opportunities, responsible business and the diversity networks.
Yes! DLA Piper organised it so well and it was such a good chance to get to know the firm. The Group project was also a really good addition and enjoyable task, and everyone who spoke to us was passionate and helpful. It has definitely helped me to make decisions about my future in the legal sector.