It was a great experience that gave an insight into the workings of the firm and the type of legal services they provide. The work was at times challenging, rewarding, interesting and engaging. Unfortunately it was only for two weeks and the firm did seem to take less interest in the vacation scheme students in comparison to the city vacation schemes.
My time felt valued on occasion, other times due to the nature of the confidential information it seemed I was overlooked and given jobs just for the sake of making me look busy. Two weeks meant that I could only be involved in very limited tasks but the tasks I did help on were interesting and engaging. We were set tasks by the graduate recruitment team which then were presented to partners - these tasks definitely seemed more valuable as we were questioned and listened to more comprehensively than any other time in the two weeks,
The partner in my department was away often over the two weeks but took the time to sit and engage with me. He was very impressive and was committed to guiding my into a career in law. The day to day support was great but the graduate recruitment team were detached as they were located in another office.
The information was practical, trying to focus on turning academic understanding to practical skills. I do not think two weeks can really assist with a degree but did give me some commercial understanding that I now use in my career.
The introduction and welcome was well structured but as the two weeks progressed structure seemed to fall away. This was unfortunate as I would have been nice to have worked with the whole department, I was however invited to Business Development meetings and involved in the structure of the department itself. I do not think this was due to the insight structuring but rather a very keen and supportive partner.
There was only 2/3 students at any one time so we did get a lot of contact time, but this also made for a dull experience at times. The location of the office meant the other social things we could do were restaurants at lunch. The social activities for the two weeks were next to none as no department seemed to go out together after work due to the location of the office. People were keen to have us involved but did not have the work to involve us in. I learnt a lot (less legal more commercial), but decided to target and subsequently train at a magic circle firm instead. Was an all round good experience but better for an individual that wants to train and practice outside of the city. I have visited the Birmingham office and does seem more engaging. I would recommend Shoosmiths for the experience and people.
I think they could have run more events to train and develop interns. We did not have anything of this type and have experienced more seminars at larger city firm's vacation schemes.
Very much so, the firm is as they present themselves. Friendly, approachable and hard-working. This runs through as a common theme through their employees and the vacation scheme gave a clear picture of the work load and hours involved at a firm of this size (which are really.. really... good in comparison to london firms)
The firm is collegiate and this is at the core of their culture. You could see this throughout the insight and did not seem like a front just for marketing as it is at many other firms.
The content was partially helpful, at times it was interesting and met expectations. Other times, I already have knowledge of what I wanted to be although this did give me an understanding of an area of law I had not previously considered.
I was paid £250 per week for this experience. No accommodate, travel or lunch (reasonable expenses) were paid for.
This was limited, I was allowed to meet with trainee Solicitors but very limited opportunities to meet with Partners of the firm.
As previously stated, limited. No evening socials apart from one evening.
Yes, the employees do pro-bono and charity events often as a group. This was impressive and showed further the friendliness of the firm.
Yes, all round a good opportunity which was helpful and interesting.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
12th January 2015
Less than £ 10,000