Vacation Scheme Student at Herbert Smith Freehills

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date
Less than £ 10,000

This review was written using a previous version of questions that were updated in 2013


The Role



The Role

Role Description

Assisting and shadowing Trainees with their duties, conducting legal research and drafting documents, attending conference calls.

Presentations and workshops also occupy much of the three-week period.

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

Lots of social events, plenty of opportunities to meet people at all levels in the firm.

The seat allocation generally followed preferences submitted in advance, and the departments seemed ready to cater for Vac Schemers, had work ready and everyone was really helpful!

Going round to ask for work was easy: even partners were easy to talk to.


2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

Everyone who gave me work, whether legal research or small menial jobs on massive transactions, were hugely appreciative. Especially for legal research, they saw being a university student a huge advantage.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

The structure is excellent. Every Vac Schemer has a partner mentor to whom they can bring any queries, as well as a supervisor (senior associate/partner) and a trainee buddy, who is there to answer all of the silly questions you need to ask!


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

It is extremely group-dependent. Some litigation seats are quieter in the summer when courts are closed, and the market conditions at the moment mean that some corporate seats can also be variable.

Nevertheless, there is always something to be getting on with


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

I am not sure any Law Placements let you "run the show", but I definitely felt as though my input was important. Many tasks I completed proceeded to be in the final document, or were tasks which no-one else would check or verify, and so needed to be correct.


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

Great emphasis is put on development, and feedback from supervisors also helped in this regard.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Really relaxed, everyone was friendly, and I felt I could go to anyone for help.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

Everything ran smoothly, with plenty of talks etc. all arranged and known about in advance.


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

They have put a great deal of time and effort into making me feel like part of the firm, and seem genuinely interested in me/my background.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Sports and Social Club
  • International Travel
  • Company Parties/Events

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

Training Contract interviews occur at the end of scheme.



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

The first night saw the Interns go for a meal unsupervised and with a company tab, which was a great way to get to know everyone. However, there were not enough socials in the first week to really get to know each other well, and it was only in the last week where I felt everyone fully gelled together.

When we did have socials, though, they were great fun!


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

Everywhere in the City is expensive!


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

The best location in the City for moving on somewhere else. Close to all of the main social parts of town.


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Pity there was no formal Pro Bono work scheduled in, as compulsory (and extremely enjoyable) at other firms. Aside from that, sports etc. were open to all.