This was a week of webinars with a presentation at the end (due to COVID). I really enjoyed the first week, and felt that a lot of time and effort was put into ensuring that each one of us got the most out of the scheme. It was a real shame that there was less of an opportunity for one on one time, or proper work experience, as this would have been much more beneficial for my career.
Very difficult to feel valued when you were one of 100 on a zoom call, and other people in your group were constantly unmuting and muting themselves to ensure that they were on the front page and got to ask all the questions. I did get to ask a few questions though which was good, and the graduate recruitment team put a lot of time into putting everybody at ease as much as they possibly could.
DLA has an amazing buddy/mentor programme, and mine was absolutely fantastic (could not have been better). Completely devoted themselves to ensuring that I got the most out of the scheme that I possibly could, and took the time to help me. During the programme there were scheduled trainee drop in sessions, however this appeared to be poorly managed and my group could not get into any of them even though we tried from around 30 minutes before!
Due to the lack of in person work experience, I did not get the opportunity to actually experience what being a trainee solicitor was like at all. This was quite disappointing as I am left pretty much in the same position as I would have been in had I not done the scheme. But I did think that the week of presentations really helped me learn a lot more about the firm, and I enjoyed these.
Very good considering the circumstances - ensured that there was plenty of time for everyone to ask the questions they wanted and have breaks as well. I enjoyed the fact that we got to break off into little groups a lot, this helped to make it feel more like it would have done in person. We got a lot of time to explore each practice area of the firm, and also learnt a lot about non-commercial law work the firm gets involved with.
Graduate recruitment were absolutely brilliant and really tried their best to ensure that everyone felt comfortable and calm, which was definitely difficult over Zoom. As previously mentioned, because people were trying to get onto the front page a lot I think this caused a lot of frustration, particularly as it was the same people who got to ask questions a lot of the time. But overall, the firm itself was really friendly and I enjoyed the scheme.
This was something that shone throughout the whole scheme. DLA Piper clearly has the most friendly and welcoming culture, and this was something that was obvious from day 1. I really enjoyed getting to know the values of the firm, and how these aligned with my own values. We took part in sessions dedicated to the people networks, diversity and inclusion, and pro bono which all gave a feel for the firm and what it values.
I think the content was valuable from the presentations as it showed me a lot about the firm and their values. It would have been good to learn a lot more about the particular work DLA Piper undertakes, and would have benefitted from doing some work experience that a trainee solicitor would undertake. Without this work experience I felt it was very difficult for me to prove that I wanted to work at the firm.
Originally the scheme was meant to be 3 weeks, however this was reduced to a week with a written exercise and interview taking place the following week. We only got paid for one of week however. This seemed to follow what other firms are doing at the time, however it would have been nice to have had a longer scheme particularly as it felt that the scheme itself did last for 2 weeks when the interview was taken into consideration.
Yes, there were lots of opportunities for networking with the firm. Graduate recruitment ensured that with each session we got the opportunity to ask as many questions as possible, and we were able to break off into smaller groups to meet employees from particular practice areas. I really enjoyed getting to meet the firm, and everyone was really friendly and genuinely wanted to answer any questions you may have had. It would have been nice if there could have been even more networking however!
We learnt a lot about the pro bono and people networks at DLA Piper. In particular, learning about the work the firm does with asylum seekers was particularly interesting, as human rights law was something that never crossed my mind in the pursuit of a commercial law career. The people networks were also really interesting, especially as a lot of them are relatively new. It gave a really good feel for what the firm was like.
Yes. But I would have loved to have done the full in person internship. I think this was a great thing to have done but felt a bit more like a first year scheme than a vacation scheme. I understand that obviously the in person scheme is a lot better, so I would hope to be able to do that one instead. It will just give you a much better feel for the firm.