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Vacation scheme insider

Billy Hart

Billy Hart


June 2023




University of Exeter

What work did you get involved with on the vacation scheme?

During my time on Ashfords' summer vacation scheme, I experienced various departments and immersed myself in their work. Each department, including commercial litigation, trusts and estates and corporate, had pre-prepared task bundles for me to work through. This provided detailed insights into the types of task and real-life work they handle.

In commercial litigation, I delved into cases and worked on tasks relating to dispute resolution. It was fascinating to see how the team navigates complex legal issues and finds innovative solutions for clients.

Moving on to trusts and estates, I explored the world of wills, trusts and estate planning. Working through the task bundles, I built an understanding of the legal processes involved in managing and distributing assets.

Meanwhile, in the corporate department I was exposed to the intricacies of M&A, commercial transactions and was even given a brief insight into marine law! The task bundles allowed me to work on hypothetical scenarios and provided a glimpse into the team’s day-to-day responsibilities.

Was the vacation scheme what you expected? Did the vacation scheme live up to your expectations?

Overall, the vacation scheme at Ashfords completely surpassed my expectations. The quality of work provided during the vacation scheme was outstanding and I was able to gain a realistic and in-depth insight into the life of a trainee solicitor. From the moment I walked through the doors, I was met with a warm atmosphere that made me feel like part of the firm. The kindness and support I received from everyone I encountered made the experience truly exceptional.

The guidance and mentorship was also invaluable. Trainees, partners and other members of the firm were always available to answer questions, provide feedback and offer their expertise. Their willingness to share knowledge and guide me made a significant impact on my experience. I felt valued and encouraged to learn and grow in an inclusive environment.

What’s the most important thing you learnt about the firm while on the scheme?

The most important thing I learned about Ashfords was the firm's unwavering emphasis on its people. While I’d initially gathered this from the firm's website, experiencing it in person truly reinforced it – Ashfords stands out as the most welcoming firm I’ve ever visited.

I witnessed the supportive and collaborative culture that permeates throughout the organisation. Team members were always ready to assist one another, share their knowledge and provide guidance. The open-door policy and willingness to help others created a positive and inclusive working environment.

I was also impressed by the firm's commitment to nurturing and developing its talent. Ashfords invests in its people and provides them with ample opportunities for growth and advancement. The mentorship and support I received during the vacation scheme were clear indications of the firm's dedication to fostering professional development.

What key skills did you develop during the scheme?

During the scheme, I developed several key skills including networking. Being placed in various departments allowed me to interact with professionals across different areas of law. In addition, attending networking lunches with trainees and partners meant we could connect with individuals at different levels within the firm. These experiences enhanced my ability to build relationships, communicate effectively and establish connections within a professional setting.

What’s one piece of advice you’d pass on to future vacation schemers?

One piece of advice I’d pass on to future vacation schemers is to be yourself. It sounds cliché, but it’s essential to remember that Ashfords values authenticity and individuality. While it’s important to showcase your legal knowledge and skills, it’s equally important to let your unique personality shine through.

Ashfords isn’t looking for legal robots, but rather individuals who bring their own perspectives, experiences and strengths to the table. Embrace your individuality and come with your authentic self. This will allow you to make genuine connections with others and demonstrate your true potential.