To help get an insight into the daily workings of a solicitor in a commercial environment.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Shoosmiths. The experience helped me understand of academia translates into the day-to-day practicalities of being a commercial solicitor. I was given hands on responsibilities from the start which helped me to get a great insight into the various work carried out by a commercial solicitor.
This is where Shoosmiths stood out for me. Having undertaken placements at various different law firms I found Shoosmiths the easiest to integrate into.All the staff at the firm were so friendly and often approached me asking how I was and how I was getting on. This made me feel really valued as I genuinely believe they were looking at me from a future trainee perspective.
I was given work to do from various departments. The instructions provided with the tasks were very precise which helped me understand what I needed to be doing. I was always given a detailed background of the tasks which helped me to understand what specific areas I need to focus on. Any queries I had were answered very promptly.
As stated above the whole experience helped me bridge the gap between academia and the day-to-day practicalities of being a commercial solicitor. The placement enhanced my research skills by using the various legal search engines, when carrying out legal updates. The main skill I took away from the placement was how important teamwork is in a corporate environment. The placement helped me appreciate how the various departments interlink when carrying out work for a client.
There was a scheduled timetable given to me for the week I was placed in the Commercial department. However, the timetable was very flexible in the sense that it did not restrict me to what I should be doing on a daily basis. This was really good as it enabled me to do carry out work from different departments and allowed me to meet more people in the office.
This was also another highlight for me during my time at Shoosmiths. The atmosphere was very calm and friendly and promoted the ideal work-life balance. The firm regularly have charity events and during my time there had a drinks evening on Friday. This again enabled me to approach the staff in an informal manner and helped me get a better insight into the legal profession.
The firm provided me with my own desk and computer for the duration of the week. This helped me to settle in the firm quickly. I was also given a detailed starter pack before I started with all the equipment I would need during my time there. I was also paid for my time there. In terms of personal training, I was not there long enough to be sent out to other offices to help me get a better understanding of a particular service area.
The placement gave me the perfect insight as to what it would have been like working there on a full time basis. Rather than focus on one task at a time, I took it upon myself to be busy with a number of tasks. This further gave me an insight as to what trainees deal with on a daily basis.
The staff rather than the placement helped me understand the firms culture. All the staff in the office had similar characteristics, in terms of their work ethic and how they approached each other and the conversations they would have with one another. This helped me understand the culture in terms of what Shoosmiths are looking for.
I think the whole experience further enlightened my desire in becoming a commercial solicitor. Having experienced the various practices in the legal profession, I truly felt that the commercial environment at Shoosmiths is where I belong.
As the office was based on one floor it was very easy to meet and network with other employees. everyone was very approachable and took the time out to explain how they ended up at the firm and why they loved doing their job. Also on the Friday, I had a chance to meet the equity partner on the firm and gain a valuable insight into the firm.
The social event on the Friday made it very easy to interact with other members of staff. It was a shame that during the week I was there, there was no social event in the evening planned.
Employees at Shoosmiths get involved in a number of activities outside the office. The firm have their netball team and have regular social events. In addition, the firm takes its corporate responsibilities very seriously. They encourage their employees to participate in a lot of charity work.
I could not recommend this placement highly. Anyone that is looking to work in a corporate environment and wants to thoroughly enjoy the experience, would love to work at Shoosmiths. A lot of people who want a corporate legal career would want to work for big international firms. However, Shoosmiths will make you realise that the grass is not greener on the other side.