Virtual summer intern.
The firm ran sessions with people all the way from current trainees to the Global Co-CEO, so I enjoyed the range of perspectives on offer and the effort that was made to adapt the programme to the present circumstances. Even though we couldn't meet in person, the social activities e.g. pub quiz were also a good way of building rapport.
I felt reasonably valued during the programme in the circumstances - as above, I think that the firm tried to include the interns as much as possible. I liked that even partners at the office stayed for all of the office-specific sessions running to 2+ hours, even though I'm sure they are all very busy and could have been billing for something else!
The main task (preparing and delivering a group presentation) was well-explained, and there was a lot of support on offer from the firm. For instance, current trainees offered support sessions on Zoom, and when the first day was oversubscribed, lots more signed up to run them the following day. The graduate recruitment team were also available by phone or email throughout.
I think that the information I received was a reasonably good insight into DLA Piper, and to an extent also into the wider legal landscape. I wouldn't say that I developed my skills hugely, given that the programme mostly focused on delivering information to us about the firm itself, but the opportunity to develop teamwork and communication skills is never wasted!
The programme was fairly well-structured in terms of the range of sessions provided, although the timetable changed all the time because sessions ran over. We also didn't get the timetable for each day before the preceding evening, and I think that the first day could have started earlier (say at 9 instead of 10.30) in order to free up more of the evening.
The atmosphere was hard to judge definitively given that everyone was just in a little box on Zoom, and I think that the atmosphere within the office-specific and groupwork sessions was definitely better and friendlier than in the sessions with all the interns from the UK and Ireland. I think that the general sessions were difficult to get a question in - and the same people were often picked a lot, if unintentionally as they would have been picked by different people! - and there was very little conversation in those calls. When the calls were broken into smaller groups, it was much friendlier and easier to get to get to know people.
Not to a huge extent, given it was only a week-long, remote programme, but the group presentation exercise and the associated support on offer meant that there was an opportunity to practise/develop skills. They did make a point of saying what training and development is available to their actual trainees/employees, though.
Due to the range of people from the firm who gave presentations, I think that it offered a reasonably good insight into what a job with the firm might entail. Most of the insight about the actual day-to-day work actually came from people from the firm answering questions, so maybe more of that could be integrated into the main body of the presentations in future.
I think that there was a high level of insight provided and consistency between different individuals, which suggested to me that the firm really does prioritise values such as diversity and inclusion. I appreciated that they had people from different offices (including international secondees) talking to us, so that we could gain a fuller picture of the firm's culture.
I think that it was reasonably valuable in terms of an insight on the firm, the way in which their graduate programme is structured, and the next steps in terms of potential participation in that programme. I don't think it was as helpful in terms of the wider legal sector, but that may be more of an issue for non-law students/graduates.
I was paid for the week at the rate that the usual programme would have offered, although had the programme been in person then the payment would have been for three weeks instead of one. I wasn't budgeting based on the forecast amount when offered the programme, but I understand that some people were in terms of the next academic year.
Yes, albeit virtually. There were sessions with all the interns from the different offices, with presentations from people at all levels. In those, they answered questions, but there wasn't really organic networking as such. The office-specific sessions were better from that point of view as there was more opportunity for actual conversation.
The networking/social event opportunities were probably about as extensive as they could have offered in the circumstances, especially as people didn't really seem to want to spend all day and evening on Zoom! There was a team quiz on the first evening which was the main social occasion, and then a couple of office-specific sessions which were better for networking.
Yes, there was a lot of promotion of the employee networks such as for sex equality, race, and LGBT issues. There was also quite a lot of discussion of social mobility issues, and some mention of other activities which take place in the offices. That came more from the office-specific sessions, where they talked e.g. about their social committee, than from the overall sessions.
Yes, I think that the programme was well put together given the necessary adjustment to a virtual format at relatively short notice. I would recommend it to a friend if he or she were looking for an in-depth insight into DLA Piper and especially into the culture at the firm.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Republic of Ireland
26th June 2020
Less than £ 10,000