• Skills
  • Business Insight
  • Culture
  • Your Impressions

Role Description

The Herbert Smith Freehills first-year workshop is for first year law students/second year non law students who are aspiring solicitors, looking to find out more about a career in commercial law. During the programme you get involved in a mixture of presentations, networking, and also there is an opportunity to get involved in an interactive workshop exercise. An added benefit of attending the scheme is that you can get fast tracked to the review stage of your next application when applying to Herbert Smith Freehill’s vacation scheme.


  • 1. Please give an overview of the insight and what was involved on a day-to-day basis.
  • We started off the workshop with an introduction to the firm by one of the partners. Throughout the both days we had a series of presentations from a range of people (including two different practice areas and a session on the pro Bono work at Herbert Smith Freehill). In the middle of the first day we had a two-hour alternative dispute resolution interactive session which I really enjoyed. It was a great opportunity to develop negotiation skills.


  • 2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
  • Yes! I developed the most skills whilst engaging in the alternative dispute resolution interactive workshop. We were split into different teams and were working to represent different clients. Through this experience I developed my negotiation skills, my teamwork skills, and my presentation skills. As well as this I think I started to think in a more commercial lawyer type of way. By this I mean I was starting to recognise that I needed to always have my clients best interests at hand.

  • How would you rate the training provided during your experience?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate the knowledge learned around industry-specific skills during the experience?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate the knowledge learned around personal or professional skills during the experience?
  • 5/5

  • Please rate how the knowledge learned has helped you with regards to your career development
  • 5/5

    Business Insight

  • 3. What was it like understanding all about the business and potential roles available?
  • At the end of the workshop, we received a talk from the graduate recruitment team and learnt about the next steps to take if we wanted to continue with Herbert Smith Freehills. As well as of this presentation, we also had the opportunity to network with a large number of current trainee solicitors. Through this we were able to directly ask trainees about their role and the type of work that they do on a day-to-day basis.

  • Please rate how insightful you found the insight
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate the structure of the insight
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate business leader involvement during the insight
  • 3/5


  • 4. What was the company culture and general atmosphere like?
  • At the end of the first day, we had a social event (chocolate making) which we did with the Herbert Smith Freehill’s graduate recruitment team as well as some trainees. This was a really good opportunity to experience firsthand what the culture was like at the firm. From my experience, the firm is filled with very hard-working people. With that being said everyone is very friendly and is always offering to be there to answer any questions that you may have.

  • How would you rate the inclusiveness of the culture?
  • 4/5

  • How would you rate the networking opportunities?
  • 5/5

  • Please rate how valued you felt during your insight?
  • 4/5

    Your Impressions

  • 5. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?
  • I thoroughly enjoyed this insight program. It was a great opportunity to learn more about Herbert Smith Freehills directly. There were so many opportunities to learn about different practice areas and this was really helpful because as a first year I now have a better understanding of what working in a commercial lawfirm is like. I also particularly liked how interactive the sessions were and this was my first exposure to alternative dispute resolution, however I enjoyed the experience so much of that I am hoping to get more involved in alternative dispute resolution (after the scheme).

  • Please rate your level of enjoyment on the insight
  • 5/5

  • Please rate how your experience met your expectations
  • 5/5

  • Please rate the future employment prospects at Herbert Smith Freehills
  • 5/5

  • 7. Would you recommend Herbert Smith Freehills to a friend?
  • Yes

  • 8. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Herbert Smith Freehills
  • One tip that I would give to anyone applying to the firm, is to make sure that you are answering every part of the question on the application form. The graduate recruitment team highlighted to us that some applicants do you not properly read or understand what the firm is asking of them on the application form. As well as this, the application form itself is going to be a test to see the applicants writing skills. So, I would advise someone applying to make sure that they have read their application through and have even asked a friend to read it to make sure that they are answering the question well and that everything is presented concisely and clearly.

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Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)

Commercial Law

19th April 2021

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