two week vacation scheme
I really enjoyed the quality of work provided to vacation scheme students and the opportunities of pro-bono and CSR activities. Everyone was very friendly which made the scheme very welcoming and allowed me to perform to the best of my ability. The socials were also enjoyable even though they were virtual and there was an effort on the part of the graduate recruitment to ensure these activities were not missed out on. However, I would have really liked to have met everyone in person and found it more challenging to develop relationships virtually.
Lawyers from all levels of seniority always sent very appreciative emails and useful feedback after the task was completed. The lawyers at BM also gave up a lot of their time to call to talk about how that work fitted into the broader transaction or advice to the client. It made the scheme very rewarding. We were also included in departmental socials and catchups and always included in conversation, despite the fact we were only VS students.
The lawyers at BM gave a significant amount of support to ensure that the tasks set were well explained. The tasks were always set over a call to ensure that a proper conversation could be had around the tasks. It was also easy to contact the lawyers via Skype messenger to ask any informal or quick questions, they were always happy to answer any questions and were very approachable.
There were some technical issues during the scheme but IT had a 24/7 helpline which fixed issues very quickly and graduate recruitment frequently checked in on the progress to ensure the VS students were not struggling.
The work set was very focused towards legal and commercial issues. For example in corporate the rise of ESG and in employment the issues surrounding disability and reasonable adjustments. This meant i developed both my legal and commercial understanding of corporate law and felt I understood concepts that will further my studies. The work set was very different from previous schemes I had completed as it was not typical intern work such as filing or organising spreadsheets, all the work set by Baker was very interesting and set for the benefit of the VS student.
It was very well structured with four pieces of assessed work given to vacation scheme students. This meant the student was always well occupied and had work to get on with. There were also scheduled socials, virtual coffee catchups, buddy and supervisor catchups up everyday. This ensured that the VS students felt like they were included in the culture of the firm and got to experience what working at the firm was really like. There were also departmental talks which furthered the VS knowledge of what Baker specialises in.
Baker Mckenzie is a very friendly and sociable firm and that shone through even though the scheme was virtual. Through all levels of seniority VS students were made to feel welcome and appreciated. The only thing that was missing was forming a closer bond with the other VS students which was more challenging as it was virtual and in large chat rooms it was difficult to speak to everyone. However, any virtual vac scheme would encounter this issue and so BM did an amazing job in the circumstances.
They provided IT and library training which was extremely useful in understanding how to use Baker's technology as well as for researching the tasks set during the VS. There was also a client pitch training session which enhanced presentation skills as well as commercial awareness. The feedback received was very detailed which allowed me to develop throughout the two weeks in the quality of the work I produced. Baker Mckenzie spent a lot of time in personal development for the vac schemers and so I believe they did invest in us.
The vac scheme provided a rich insight into what it would be like to work at Baker Mckenzie. Not only did the departments show the type of work that BM specialises in but there was also specific pro-bono work set which showed how important CSR is to Baker. There were also diversity talks and chances to get involved in their committees such as BakerWomen which illustrates how central diversity is to BM. The wide selection of socials also proved how social and friendly BM truly is. There was a great mixture of activities to get involved in.
Even though the VS was online I felt like I got to know the atmosphere of BM extremely well. This was shown through the opportunity to get involved in CSR, pro-bono, and diversity initiatives which is something BM is really proud of. Also, the lawyers at BM are extremely friendly and interesting which made the firm stand out even though it was virtual. It was more difficult not being in the office to get a proper feel but BM did the best it could in the circumstances and VS left understanding BM.
Extremely valuable as the work set was real lawyer tasks and so it was interesting to understand what work a trainee does as well as getting to see the leadership and project management role of a partner through getting to be part of a team during the VS.
The ability to work in two departments also gave a flavour of what type of lawyer I would be e.g. transactional, litigator or advisory work. The client pitch was also very interesting to see how lawyers have to compete for work.
The pay was very good and competitive in line with other vacation schemes. The pay was not diminished despite the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. The firm also had additional benefits such as paying for takeaways at socials, sending over a burger making kit and other goodies which made the whole experience very exciting and felt like they did treat the VS students very well. They did cut a week of the vacation scheme but many other companies cancelled them and so I was very grateful that it still went ahead.
There were scheduled meetings with trainees, associates, partners as well as the leadership panel of the firm. So VS students had the opportunity to network with a variety of people during the firm. There were also a social before the VS even began to get more comfortable with fellow vac schemers as well as meeting graduate recruitment. The socials provided during the scheme had attendance from all over the firm so there were plenty of meetings between different people.
Graduate recruitment created break out rooms to ensure the vac schemers could meet lawyers in a quieter environment where questions could be answered and there was more of a relaxed environment.
There was also two quizzes and a escape room to informally socialise with the other VS students as well as other lawyers which gave the opportunity to form more of a friendship which is typically quite hard when the VS is online and no one has met before.
BM more than any other firm that I have attended puts an emphasis on participating in activities outside of corporate work. There are so many opportunities for pro-bono work, CSR initiatives which the firm gives specific time off work for lawyers to fulfil their own personal charity passions. There are also really strong diversity organisations within the firm which host many talks and events that people in the firm can get involved with. So overall this is a strong advantage to BM.
Absolutely! I learnt so much about the law and developed my commercial awareness significantly. BM is such a friendly firm that they would make the scheme enjoyable for anyone who decided to apply and bring out the best in each vac-schemer. The whole interview process to get on the VS and the actual TC interview was very relaxed and actually enjoyable. Therefore, there are no reasons why someone would not want to do a BM vacation scheme, there are only benefits in applying.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)