Each day contained task work for one department which was usually 2-4 individual tasks such as drafting/research/writing a letter to a client. A Solicitor from each department would help us with any general questions we had and explained their day to day work. We also had various networking talks for other departments to learn about the work they do with opportunities to ask questions. We also had other talks on topics such as CSR. An interview took place later in the week.
I improved my drafting/research skills as I had never worked in the areas of law we were given tasks in. The work could be quite technical which meant I learnt about terms and statute I had not previously encountered. It developed my confidence and public speaking skills as we would have to ask questions/present in front of all other vac schemers on Microsoft Teams. My interview skills also developed further and I feel I improved at answering situational interview questions.
The firm answered all our questions about the Training Contract which helped to confirm next steps if we were made an offer. All the departments involved in the networking sessions also explained to us what types of work Trainees would do in comparison to other Solicitors which helped to confirm what to expect and put us at ease. Through the talks on CSR and the firm structure we were also able to learn what to expect from the firm in the future and their goals.
The culture was extremely open and honest. Every member of staff from Trainees to Partners were very willing to offer us their support despite busy working schedules, and all seemed happy and proud of working at Gateley. The support provided was meaningful and you felt like you were listened to. This was particularly impressive given that the vacation scheme was remote and so it could have been easy to be forgotten. This was not the case at Gateley.
I greatly enjoyed the vacation scheme. Not only was the task work interesting and engaging but it was also great to get to know other vac schemers as well as the trainees and solicitors currently at the firm. The firm struck a good balance between work/social aspects and the 3 socials we had (murder mystery, escape room and an in person meal) were all excellently organised and very fun. The recruitment team were always on hand to make sure everything was going smoothly.
I would make sure you have researched the firm well, especially in terms of their future expansion. Gateley are rapidly expanding into non legal services and so I would recommend applicants to keep up to date on news regarding this and the changing company structure. The firm do value personality heavily so be yourself and always be smiley and confident! Other than this, I would make sure to heavily prepare for the interview, with a focus on a variety of questions including strengths, situational and motivational questions.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
28th July 2021