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Vacation scheme insider

Michal Pati

Michal Pati

When

April 2022

Subject

Law

University

King’s College London

What did you do while on the vacation scheme?

The 2022 spring vacation scheme took place in person and consisted of a mixture of presentations, networking events and socials, as well as assessed written tasks and live work. The presentations offered a great introduction to the London office – for example, we learnt about the day-to-day tasks of lawyers across various practice groups giving great insight into the firm’s breadth of expertise. We also attended Q&As with trainees and associates, networking lunches and several social events, including an escape room. Throughout the week, we had to complete two exercises that simulated the work you might expect as a trainee. The first required analysis of a piece of legislation and tested our ability to work under time pressure; we had to turn the work around in two hours. The second was a longer week-long research task. We also completed live client work within our departments and were encouraged to arrange one-to-one meetings with the firm’s lawyers.

What did you feel that you gained from the placement?

I sat in the employment and labor department and learnt about the variety of matters that employment lawyers deal with. Completing live work provided insights into the daily tasks of trainees – for example, I had the opportunity to conduct legal research on internal employment policies for a start-up and write the first draft of a settlement agreement for a client. I was excited to be given this level of responsibility at this stage. As well as finding out what trainee life at the firm is like, I also gained an understanding of the firm’s culture through interesting sessions about diversity and inclusion, and pro bono opportunities.

Which were the most enjoyable – and most challenging – aspects of the scheme?

The most enjoyable aspect was the chance to work closely with my supervisor and see how senior lawyers prepare for client calls and interact with representatives from large corporations or emerging start-ups. I enjoyed taking notes during the calls, summarising the key legal points for my supervisor to help them determine potential solutions to the client’s problem, and then completing follow-up work. I felt like a valuable member of the team whose contributions would make a difference to the matter.

On the other hand, I found time management quite challenging. There were lots of opportunities to explore different areas of commercial law, develop new skills and meet inspiring lawyers, but I also had to make sure that all my work was completed on time.

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

We had an informal exit meeting with a member of the attorney recruitment team, where we shared our feedback on the scheme and spoke about our experiences, highlights and challenges. It was about three weeks later that I was offered a training contract.

Is there one key thing that you took away from the experience that you would pass on as advice to others?

The work you produce on the scheme takes on a different structure to work you might have produced at university. It must be accessible to the reader or client, and can include executive summaries, bullet points or tables. The reader must be able to see the important facts – they don’t need the theoretical background to their problem or wider implications of a government policy on the legal system (factors you’ll have no doubt had to consider). Instead, advice must be specific and relevant to client circumstances.