Numerous talks by UK, Ireland and Middle East managing partners, trainees, representatives from the ProBono practice, those involved in CSR, Diversity and Inclusion and Employee Networks initiatives. Interactive sessions with Edinburgh Managing Partner, Trainee Partner and other Edinburgh interns throughout the week. Completed group presentation, written task and partner interview at end of week as assessment for traineeship.
I wouldn't say that I developed new skills, but it was great practice to work as a team, put together a presentation and then present it virtually, as this is quite different to meeting and presenting face-to-face. It also challenged me to think of insightful questions prior to the sessions, as there are opportunities after every talk to ask questions and there were some excellent ones asked by other interns.
We had talks from the UK, Ireland and Middle East managing partners, so it was really interesting to see how the practice areas and sectors differ by region, and to also hear about each speaker's personal career journey and what advice they had for us. Also had a great insight into the ProBono practice and what projects we could get involved in if we were successful in our traineeship applications. The interactive sessions with our office managing partner and trainee partner were particularly helpful, as we had 10 minute talks from the key practice areas in the Edinburgh office (Employment, Corporate, IPT, Real Estate, Litigation), and then heard about the office-specific ProBono and charity partnerships too.
Grad recruitment were energetic, reassuring and approachable throughout the whole week. Every speaker was warm, friendly and passionate about their work at DLA. You never got the feeling that the speakers had something better to be doing even though many of them would have been extremely busy. You felt valued as an intern - we were given plenty of breaks and time to work on our group projects so it didn't feel too intense, which I felt got the best out of the interns as we were relaxed, well rested and genuinely enjoying the scheme. My trainee buddy was excellent and generous with her time. I met with her a couple of times before the scheme and during the scheme we had a couple of quick Zoom calls at the end of the day to see how I was getting on and whether I needed a hand with anything. We had lots of insight from trainees throughout the week too - there was a trainee panel in which trainees answered questions that the interns had submitted prior to the session. This covered topics such as workload, supervision, secondments, diversity and inclusion, day-to-day tasks and social events. There were also two trainee 'spotlight' sessions in which trainees discussed their journey and experiences at DLA so far. All speakers left plenty of time to answer questions from the interns, and all speakers talked about what the firm is doing in terms of social mobility and diversity and inclusion, which I felt showed that it's a real priority for DLA.
I really enjoyed the insight for the reasons I've described above. I was nervous as it was my first vac scheme but there was nothing to be worried about. Everyone was engaging and approachable, the quiz with other interns on the first evening was a great addition as it was lovely to chat with my peers and get to know them a little better at the start of the week. The group presentation was a bit nerve-wracking but the partners who assessed us were kind and trying to get the best out of you.
Make sure your personality shines through in the application process and on the scheme, as DLA seems to value people as individuals. There's no exact 'mould' to try and fit into as all of the people (speakers and interns) I 'met' were quite different to each other. Do think of examples where you have displayed the firm values though, as the values are key to the firm culture, and an interest in probono is also important. Be enthusiastic, friendly and supportive to everyone you meet and try to come up with questions before each session or interview as this is one way to stand out on a virtual scheme.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
2nd July 2021