Law with politics
University of Manchester
What did you do while on the vacation scheme?
I was with DWF's Leeds office (virtually) for one week and sat in the real estate litigation team. I drafted a lease, conducted research and participated in a team meeting.
Throughout the scheme, I had the opportunity to speak to partners from all practice groups and ask questions about their roles. There was also a presentation about the DWF Foundation, which gave me an insight into the firm’s philanthropic efforts.
Alongside this, there were social events, such as a yoga class over zoom and a virtual escape room. These events provided the opportunity to interact with trainee solicitors and gain a broader understanding of the firm’s culture.
At the end of the scheme, I presented a mock client pitch to partners with a colleague which was the perfect opportunity to consolidate and demonstrate what we had learnt about DWF during the vacation scheme.
What did you feel that you gained from the placement?
The vacation scheme gave me an insight into the type of work that trainees get involved in. Having lots of contact with trainees from different seats meant I could see what their workloads were like.
Speaking to staff enabled me to develop a more holistic view of how DWF operates as a global legal business.
Which were the most enjoyable – and most challenging – aspects of the scheme?
I was made to feel like a real member of the team and was given a degree of responsibility. I found this to be the most enjoyable aspect of the scheme.
The mock client pitch was the most challenging aspect because once we had presented, we were questioned in a high-pressure scenario, but it was worth it because the pitch went well!
Did the scheme end with a training contract interview or some other kind of further recruitment process?
Towards the end of the scheme, I had a meeting with a member of DWF's graduate recruitment team to discuss the possibility of a training contract and how I found the vacation scheme experience.
Following this, I was offered a training contract interview with a managing partner and a member of the graduate recruitment team. The interviewers were very friendly which put me at ease. I was offered a training contract shortly after which I gladly accepted! The training contract interview replaced the usual final stage assessment, which is the Meet the Leaders event. This event is a speed networking style assessment hosted by a range of senior representatives from the business. The event couldn't take place for my intake due to the pandemic but is going ahead virtually in the meantime.
I have since taken up a role within DWF as a business development and marketing intern to get a broader insight into the business before I commence my training contract.
Is there one key thing that you took away from the experience that you would pass on as advice to others?
I would encourage aspiring solicitors to keep a record of tasks they do on a vacation scheme. This helps you to reflect on your day and will aid your ability to remember what you learnt. Being able to recall your experience from the vacation scheme will be useful for further interviews you may have.