Vacation scheme participant at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Duration
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Region
Hong Kong
Review Date

Connect with this company

4.5/5

About You
4.4
The Company
4.5
Everything Else
4.6

About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

Real work opportunities. Trainees, associates and even partners are very engaging and of course encouraging. They invest time in training and nurturing talents. Lots of inter-office webinars that keep colleagues updated of the recent legal development, which are rare in their competitors. The recruitment team has so far striven to keep everything open and honest, even if it sometimes means disappointment to candidates. Overall the firm has been great in managing expectation, whether it is related to work or not.
5 /5

2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?

In general, the firm values interns and trainees highly. They try to keep all the candidates informed of the progress and the decisions they have made. The staff was very willing to help newcomers adapt to the firm culture and environment despite the fact that I actually only had two weeks' time in the office. One complaint I had is that the recruitment was processed quite slowly. They had the initial interview in mid-April, announced the result in May while they promised to get back to me earlier.
4 /5

3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?

I received the most support from the firm and the lawyers I have ever had in a vacation scheme in BCLP. Needless to say, the support covered the legal knowledge bit, as the things were very practical and it took some efforts to transform what I learnt in the university into workable and feasible solutions. Trainees were not conservative in offering constructive comments to me. My support also came from partners who were easygoing. IT support was laudable. The crew could be reached on the direct line, offering essential rescue line to me at the time I worked from home.
5 /5

4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

The tasks I handled included legal research on the latest quarantine arrangements in Hong Kong, researches of a few big-name clients, checking the cross-references in contractual agreements and drafting exercises. These tasks trained my ability extract the key information and present it to my colleagues in the most succinct way. It also heightens my efficiency at work as I have been more able to manage my workload and deliver the best of myself under pressure. This, I reckon, is most useful in the real work environment.
5 /5

The Company

5. How well structured was the insight?

It turned out to be better than I thought. The programme was three weeks long, two weeks in the office and the middle week working from home. At first, I thought the face time would be far too short for me to make an impression. However, due to the numerous webinars and presentations I got to join, I kept regular contact with my supervisors and trainee buddies. This was the best arrangement the firm could make considering the times that we all are in.
5 /5

6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

Very positive.
5 /5

7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

4 /5

8. To what extent did the insight help you to understand what it would be like to have a full time role with the company or firm?

5 /5

9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?

BCLP is low-profile in Hong Kong due to their expertise. There are not many deals pertaining to hotel transactions in Hong Kong, so it would not be on the news headlines as other firms which prepare IPOs in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Their other expertise, construction, does not have much spotlight either as parties prefer settling transactions and even disputes privately. Therefore the insight gave me a full sense of what the firm does and how they treat people. Such information is not otherwise available in the market.
5 /5

10. How valuable was the content in helping you to decide on your future career path?

I have become more interested in the construction and commercial properties sector in legal practice. The work has aroused my interest in property law and commercial decisions pertaining to that. In Hong Kong, there are only a handful of law firms capable of managing this sort of instructions and affording professional advice to clients. The insight has actually enlightened me to evolve into an elite in the niche areas. I am determined to look for a training contract in firms of a similar fashion and expertise.
5 /5

Everything Else

11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?

The perks and salary were up to the standard of an UK-based firm. £250 each week so £750 in total. While it is not as high as those US firms who pay huge for working long hours, the balance was stricken quite right here. The firm offered free beverages (including drinks) and all sorts of facilities we need in the office. The payment was made on the last day of the vacation scheme. Yet there was a little drama in filling in the payroll form.

12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?

The firm offered more networking opportunities to interns than other firms. On the first day, we had a welcoming lunch with supervising associates and trainees. It was followed by a partner lunch in the same week with the managing partner, the head of the banking team and a corporate law partner. The chats were very interesting and insightful. As the HR recognised that some of the associates might have few opportunities to work with interns, they organised a lunch meeting and invited them to join the conversation. Finally, the firm held a social session in one of the finest pubs in Hong Kong.
5 /5

13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

All of them went quite well. There were rather few awkward moments that people had nothing to say. The associates and partners were very inclined to understand more about the interns in order to give the most relevant and appropriate advice. Some of the drinks were not attended by many lawyers due to the workload issue. Some partners were also not very keen on certain events, but understandably they are not expected to join every week.
5 /5

14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?

Due to the small size of the firm (roughly 30 lawyers and 40 supporting staff), the firm does not have a lot of social activities outside of work. I know that they are now organising a dragon boat team which can be a wonderful team-building activity on holidays. Having said that, personally I don't find it very necessary to fill the lawyers' holidays with packed firm-wide activities as they appear to be really good friends already.
4 /5

15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

I would definitely recommend this vacation scheme to my friends because everything is well designed. Lawyers are awesome and they show sympathy to interns. However, as the firm is very specialised in the construction and hospitality sectors, I would tell them to research into the firm's expertise before making applications. I also think that some students may fancy corporate law and IPOs more, then they should probably look at other firms as BCLP mainly focuses on the M&A and dispute sides.
5 /5