History and politics
University of Leicester
What did you do while on the scheme?
The scheme lasted for one week and I sat in the CITO (Commercial, IT and Outsourcing) department which is quite a niche department within the firm. My supervisor was working on a long-term project and my job through the week was to do due diligence on commercial matters, which meant comparing agreements and making sure that everything was in line. I also assisted other members of the team with drafting and proofreading. The vac schemers were given presentations from different partners and senior associates which gave us an insight into what they did, and the functionality and focus of their departments. There were social events each evening, including an escape room and various dinners.
What did you feel that you gained from the placement?
I gained an insight into the firm. You can read a lot about a law firm, but it’s invaluable to go in and experience it for a prolonged period. I got to know the people who work there, and that their characters and personalities are what makes up the culture of the firm. Often students have only studied before doing a vacation scheme, so to be able to experience the day-to-day job of a trainee gives you an appreciation of what it will be like to work there.
Which were the most enjoyable – and most challenging – aspects of the scheme?
I really enjoyed the work and having the opportunity to sit in an interesting department that I hadn’t heard of before coming into the firm. It was also great to get to know the current trainees. The challenging parts of the scheme included being a non-law student, as I had to navigate some of the technical aspects of the work that they gave me. I learnt that you have to be confident in the way you approach people if you’re stuck or need advice, however everyone is willing to help and offer support. It was also a challenge to ensure that I balanced my time well and got everything done on time.
Did the scheme end with a training contract interview or some other kind of further recruitment process?
We were observed throughout the week by our supervisor and feedback was provided as part of the trainee recruitment process. At the end of the vacation scheme, there was an assessment day in which we did a group presentation in front of a panel of graduate recruiters and partners. After that, there was an individual competency-based partner interview to discuss why we wanted to work at the firm. They told us if we had a training contract a week later.
Is there one key thing that you took away from the experience that you would pass on as advice to others?
Be confident in your abilities and the fact that you got onto the scheme on your merit and hard work. Be nice to everyone that you meet. Make sure that you’re working effectively and to the best of your abilities. It’s about putting your all into it for a condensed period of time. And finally – enjoy it! A vacation scheme is a two-way transaction. You’re there to get to know the firm and assess whether it’s somewhere you want to work.