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Vacation scheme insider

Ben Follette

Ben Follette


June 2021




University of Birmingham

What did you do while on the virtual vacation scheme?

The virtual scheme began with a welcome from graduate recruitment, the training principal and the head of office. We spent the first day learning more about the firm and its work, getting to know the other vac schemers and learning to use the firm’s software, some of which had been specifically developed for the scheme.

After the induction day, we began work in our allocated seats. My first seat was private client. I drafted a will and wrote a letter enclosing the will to send to a client. I was also given research tasks relating to charities and trusts. My supervisor and other team members were approachable and happy to answer my questions, as well as give me helpful feedback on my work.

My second seat was in the health and care department which was exciting as I didn’t have any previous experience in this area. My supervisor was a partner, and it was very interesting to hear about their career and experiences. During this seat, I wrote a blog post about a recent case, took meeting minutes and carried out research.

Throughout the scheme there were presentations from various Mills & Reeve employees, as well as social events organised by the current trainees.

What did you learn about the firm while on the placement?

It was great to gain an insight into the day-to-day workings of the firm. Through speaking with trainees, associates and partners, I learned so much about the work the firm does for its clients and the firm’s plans for the future.

Despite the scheme being virtual, I gained a greater understanding of the firm’s culture through all the interactions that I had. Mills & Reeve puts a great emphasis on its culture and values and it was important for me to experience this first hand.

Which were the most enjoyable - and most challenging - aspects of the virtual scheme?

The most enjoyable aspect of the scheme was the career paths presentation in which we heard from two partners about their careers and time at Mills & Reeve. The most challenging aspect was taking minutes during a meeting in the health and care team. The meeting was fast-paced and I didn’t understand all of the terminology at first. After discussing it with an associate, I could grasp what was being discussed and was able to better understand the work Mills & Reeve does in this sector.

Did the scheme end with a training contract interview or some other kind of further recruitment process?

There was no formal interview or recruitment process at the end of the scheme as the firm assesses everyone throughout the scheme. All vacation scheme participants had a meeting with graduate recruitment where they thanked us for our contributions during the week and let us know next steps in terms of training contract offers. We then provided written feedback which they can use for future schemes.

What did you wish you had known before starting the vacation scheme that you now know?

The scheme can seem daunting to begin with as you’ve worked extremely hard to get to this point. It’s important to put your nerves aside so that you can make the most of each task you work on, presentation you attend and conversation you have during the scheme. If you do this, you’ll develop your skills and learn so much about the firm and the people within it.