I really enjoyed the experience. I was given a real insight into what the life of a trainee at Shoosmiths was like. There is a clear culture and the people are a key part of it.
Everyone was very open and approachable. They really do have an open culture, where anyone can approach anyone. I was treated very much as one of the team and given tasks to do which the trainee I was supervised by ordinarily does.
When we were sitting in on a call, or where there was a piece of work that needed doing, the team took the time to explain the background so that I understood what was happening and could contribute my ideas on the matter.
As I was given real trainee tasks to do, the skills which I gained such as drafting and client communication skills will be valuable in the future.
There was a trainee lunch and drinks one evening with my mentee. Additionally, we were given a project to complete during the week. I was also given quite a lot of client work to do and knew when I had appointments to attend due to using the calendar in Outlook.
At the beginning of the week we were very quiet but as it went on the department suddenly became very busy. Although everyone had a lot to do, they all helped one another out to make the experience less stressful.
As there were just two vacation schemers, the company very much incorporated us into the departments that we were sitting in. I got the chance to do real work and sit in on conference calls - this gave me a real idea of what it would be like to work at Shoosmiths. I also saw the fluctuations in the work in the commercial team, as some days are very quiet and then as completion nears it becomes extremely busy.
The culture at Shoosmiths is very clear. Everyone is open and approachable and there is no sense of there being people that you cannot talk to. The advice given to clients is very pragmatic and focused on their needs. It is clear that the firms' values are really put into practice and drive the everyday work that they do.
I had decided that I wanted to be a trainee solicitor but the level of responsibility which I was given during my time at Shoosmiths really reinforced this.
Yes - the networking was mostly with the trainees but this was valuable as it gave you the opportunity to get a real idea of what being a trainee solicitor entailed. As part of our mini-project, we had to interview some members of the firm. I chose to interview two partners who made the time to sit and talk to me despite the fact they were extremely busy with work at the time.
The scheme focused more on what working at the firm itself was like which I actually preferred. We went out for an arranged meal with the trainees and I also went for drinks one evening with my mentee. Additionally, on my first day the trainees invited me to go for lunch with them.
I found out a lot about them through researching the CSR the firm is involved in for my project and I was also allowed to sit in on the office's team briefing which allowed me to see the volunteering opportunities that those involved in the Manchester office have with local charities.
I really enjoyed my week at Shoosmiths and would recommend it to anyone.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
12th July 2013
Less than £ 10,000