I think it literally depends on how much competency you can show, and how willing you are to prove that you can complete tasks effectively and in good time.
If you aren't prepared to make an effort, resign yourself to making tea and preparing bundles.
If however, you've gone in prepared to learn and with some reasonable expectations, its likely you'll be doing research, assisting with contracts,drafting precedents and helping put together legal arguments for cases.
Easily the best work experience I've had to date. Great balance of work and play, challenge and learning. There was always enough work to keep busy, but never so much as to feel overwhelmed, and everyone I met went the extra mile to make me feel welcome and comfortable.
My department gave me regular feedback and updates, so it was clear to see the actual results of everything I'd done
I'm sure that there was lots of support available if people were struggling. It was certainly always available when I needed it. But at the same time, there was plenty of room for challenging yourself and tackling difficulties independently, which I really enjoyed. It made my successes far more rewarding.
I think all the skills and information will be a lot of help. I feel that the practical understanding of the law will help shape exam essays and problem questions, give me better insight when filling applications, and of course lay the foundation for a future as a practicing lawyer.
As mentioned above, there was always something to do. Shoosmiths had set me a fairly sizable amount of assessment style work to complete, as well as a presentation project to do and organise. Of course, the structure of the insight was dependent on my own outlook to some extent, and also the general workload in the office. But in general, I found that the obligatory assessments eliminated any downtime, and plugged any potential gaps between doing practical legal work, training, or discussions.
Plenty of chat, and banter, but everyone was aware there were jobs to do. The work ethic was focused and committed, but at the same time i found the office to really reflect the firm's core values of relationships, people and results. No matter how busy, there was always a willingness to share thoughts or pitch in to help.
To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by just how much was invested in me. I was invited to a couple of employee training sessions, and a seminar run for clients. There was also an induction meeting, and a midweek case law update. Finally, all the work I was provided with became increasingly complex throughout the week, ensuring that I was always pushed and encouraged to develop. Matched with the regular feedback, this was great to see where my strengths and weaknesses lay.
Shoosmiths are really transparent about what goes on in a corporate firm. The offices are open plan, and everyone was more than happy to explain what new task they were starting. Similarly, nobody shied away from talking business around me. That mutual respect enabled me to gain a real impression of what professional legal life entails. It was also clear from the start that all the work I was asked to do was genuine firm work, with a clearly identifiable purpose and result.
In a modern legal market brand and firm identity are everything. The culture at Shoosmiths was palpable. It comes across in the mannerisms of the employees, the layout of the building, the way they conduct business, and of course, the overall image and presentation of materials. All top tier law firms offer the same legal service. The reason clients and employees choose one over the rest, is company culture and character.
Payment was contractual and at a flat, pre determined rate, that I found competitive with similar schemes.
Too many to name really. Networking lunches, training, free office movements, out of work events, inter department charity collections... the list goes on
I think I had chance to meet the vast majority of employees over my week. Obviously level of contact varied, but it was at least a greeting and exchange of pleasantries, often more. Lunch and business breakfast were both excellent, and gave me valuable opportunities to ask questions and get to know the firm better.
There was all sorts going on, and as with everything else, it was very transparent and accessible. Whether that be sporting events, pub meet ups to follow the football/cricket, world cup sweepstakes, nights out, or friendly lunch dates, there was a constant stream of verbal discussions and online calendar invites.
Definitely. I have no regrets about my time there, and feel like I have so much more than a week's experiences to take away with me.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Further Study, Legal/Law, Employment Law, Corporate Law, Private Client Law, Commercial Law
13th June 2014
£12,000 - £13,999