The Vacation Scheme consisted of group presentations organised by the Graduate Recruitment team, which covered things like FinTech and innovation, as well as sitting in a department and working with a trainee buddy and a supervisor there. I was placed in the Financial Services Regulation department and my day-to-day tasks included sitting in on team meetings, working on FCA documents, and doing research and proofreading for the team. I met daily with my supervisor and other lawyers within the FS Reg team.
The Vacation Scheme provided us with training on various skills, including IT and developing a personal brand at work. I was also given the opportunity to develop professional skills, such as those required to do legal research, proofreading, and drafting emails to clients. Since it was a virtual vacation scheme I became very proficient in using Microsoft Teams to manage my calendar and workflow, as well as networking online and meeting new people via Teams meetings.
The Vacation Scheme provided us with an in-depth insight into the roles that are available at the firm, and the avenues for career development. This was done through several presentations organised by the Graduate Recruitment team, which gave great insights into the firm. Moreover, lawyers at all stages of their careers, from trainee to partner, made themselves available to chat and were very forthright about their career experiences at the firm and the potential for career development.
Simmons & Simmons prides themselves on their company culture, and this was something that I definitely felt during my vacation scheme. Everyone that I met at the firm was very welcoming and it truly seemed like a collaborative environment to work in. Although it was difficult to tell exactly what the atmosphere was like from an online perspective, the graduate recruitment team did a good job of organising online socials and conveying the company culture as much as possible through Zoom.
I greatly enjoyed the insight, and the Vacation Scheme exceeded my expectations, particularly given the limitations of the online format. I felt like I had a real opportunity to take part in interesting and varied work, and that my work was valued by my supervisor. The company culture felt inclusive and everyone I met was generous with their time. I would happily go back and would recommend the Vacation Scheme to anyone considering applying to the Simmons & Simmons Bristol office.
The assessment centre for the Vacation Scheme was very tough, so I would advise preparing thoroughly for that, as well as the online interview that preceded it. Given the online format of the Vacation Scheme I would recommend that anyone applying knows that networking and meeting people can be harder than in-person, so make sure that from day one you are reaching out to people and asking to meet for a chat online. The experience as a whole was excellent, so I would advise people to apply if they want to experience life at a major corporate law firm with an excellent company culture.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)