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Vacation scheme insider

Chloe Somerwill

Chloe Somerwill


July 2023




Cardiff University

What work did you get involved with on the vacation scheme?

I worked within the financial services disputes and investigations team during my vacation scheme at TLT, which was great! I was drafting letters that were sent to clients and enjoyed being involved with work that was actually being used.

I also did some legal research – on one occasion this was for a partner who was on secondment with a high-street bank. It was useful to see how the work they were doing was different to the work of the rest of the team. There were also a few instances where a case had been moved from one court to the other, but the firm hadn’t received a transfer document from the court, so I had to call the court to find out what was going on. I drafted a couple of letters for a paralegal too.  

The firm hosted presentations, which were a great opportunity to find out about other departments. I particularly enjoyed the future energy presentation – the firm is renowned for having a green focus, so it was great to see this reflected internally.

Our vacation scheme also coincided with a women in banking event for anyone working in that industry, including other law firms, start-up companies and banks. As this is a seat I’m quite keen on, it was a fantastic chance to speak to people working in the industry outside of TLT.  

What was it about the firm that attracted you to apply to its scheme?

I knew I didn’t want to work in London, so looked for firms with offices outside of the City. TLT was one of those – it appealed to me because it’s a front runner and is pushing boundaries. I also completed the firm’s insight scheme in my first year, so experienced the culture first hand before applying to the vacation scheme. It was evident that it’s a genuinely friendly place to work, a great place to train, and somewhere I’d be pushed and supported to be the best solicitor I could be.

Did your attendance on the scheme support your application for a training contract?

I think my attendance on the insight scheme and vacation scheme helped me stand out in my training contract application because it demonstrated that I have a genuine interest in working at the firm. It also meant that during interviews, both for the vacation scheme and training contract (which took place on the last day of the scheme), I could authentically talk about aspects of the firm I liked from my experiences, rather than just from information taken from the firm’s website.

How did the scheme help you to understand the firm better as a business?

Before embarking on this journey, I didn’t know anyone who was a solicitor and had no way of understanding how a law firm operates as a business. During the scheme, I witnessed first hand the things that get talked about online – for example, how people charge time to clients. Similarly, the women’s business event demonstrated how the firm builds relationships with other people in the industry. While it’s important to have sector-specific and technical knowledge to be a good lawyer, these interactions made me realise how important it is to network and have your own personal brand. Without going into a law firm, you can’t fully understand this part of the job.

Looking back, what advice do you wish you’d received before starting your vacation scheme?

Try to be confident. The firm has obviously seen something in you that it likes and wants you to succeed. You’ve made it through the application process so make the most of the opportunity to get to know how incredible the firm and its people are. Get yourself as involved as you can, and you’ll soon realise how lovely everyone is.

Do you have any advice about networking while on the vacation scheme?

It’s so important to prepare ahead of any networking opportunities. For example, before I started the vacation scheme, I picked out people from various departments who I knew I wanted to speak to and spent time reading about them on the website. It’s also useful to have written some questions down in a notepad before you speak to anyone – you don’t need to stick to them but for me having something written down acts as a security blanket.