Law with social sciences
University of Warwick
What did you do while on the scheme?
I sat in the dispute resolutions department during the two weeks and was given the opportunity to conduct research on court procedures and attend client meetings, as well as a department seminar. For one task, I looked at case law and contract law to see the ways in which the defendant could seek damages. We were also given a due diligence project to complete over the two weeks, which focused on the acquisition of a beverage company. We had to identify issues that the client may face and through analysing contracts and documents, such as articles of association and produced a summary that was assessed.
The vac schemers were given the opportunity to attend presentations on the firm’s different practice areas. There were social events during the evenings, including a trip to an escape room, and a networking breakfast and dinner.
What did you feel that you gained from the placement?
I gained a great insight into the firm beyond what I had been previously exposed to. I was able to get a first-hand feel of the culture, witness how the firm operates and the ways in which practice areas interlink. Everyone I met on the scheme was friendly and willing to find out more about me, and I could really see the firm’s values in the people that worked there. Through the project and work I completed, I was able to develop my commercial awareness. I could see how different components came together in a transaction.
Which were the most enjoyable – and most challenging – aspects of the scheme?
I enjoyed the opportunity to get involved with real work involving well-known companies and banks. I did work that trainees had done before and was able to compare theirs with my own to see how I could improve.
One of the most difficult aspects of the scheme was balancing social events, presentations and projects because you had to make sure that you were able to manage and prioritise carefully, rather than just focusing on one task. We also presented a client pitch to senior members of the firm. That was challenging because we were given a short time as a team to research a company and form a pitch, and then we had to answer questions on the spot. However, this was not an assessed part of the scheme.
Did the scheme end with a training contract interview or some other kind of further recruitment process?
There was an exit interview with a partner a couple of days after the scheme. We discussed the due diligence project that I had worked on, my experience at the firm and how the scheme had compared to others. I personally found it more relaxed than the initial interview to get onto the scheme and was more about finding out what I had learnt during my time at the firm.
Is there one key thing that you took away from the experience that you would pass on as advice to others?
Don’t go in with a limited view of what you will get out of the scheme. Be open to getting to know the firm beyond the practice area you’re situated in. It’s easy to think that you’ll just do the work you’re given, but it’s useful to meet other lawyers and find out about different departments as well. Take every opportunity that comes your way!