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Vacation scheme insider

Lucy McKevitt

Lucy McKevitt


Summer 2022




University of Leeds

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

I was based at Trowers & Hamlins’ London office and spent two weeks in the construction disputes department.

I was fortunate to be given responsibility to work on live matters and was involved in work such as conducting legal research, reviewing contracts and drafting a blog post.

I also took part in a legal hackathon, which involved working virtually with vacation scheme students across the UK offices to design and present an application for clients. It was incredibly interesting to learn how legal technology is shaping what law firms can offer, and it was great to meet and work with fellow vac scheme students during the project.

We were also placed in teams to prepare and deliver a pitch presentation exercise to a panel of judges. Preparing for the pitch was an excellent opportunity to speak to people across the firm and learn about their practice areas. The pitch itself really allows you to showcase your understanding of both the firm and the markets it operates in.

Did the scheme end with a training contract interview?

The scheme ended with an in-person training contract interview, which lasted around an hour. Although initially daunting, the graduate recruitment team held an interview preparation session and the structure of the interview helped the conversation to flow organically. I really enjoyed the interview and it allowed me to display what I’d learnt about both the firm and myself during the scheme.

What’s the most important thing you learnt about the firm while on the scheme?

There’s little substitute for spending time at a firm to really understand its culture and values. This was definitely the case for me, and I immediately recognised how I was made to feel comfortable, included and respected by people across all levels.

I also learned a lot about Trowers’ approach to training and development. I could see first-hand how much responsibility trainees are given while being continuously supported. It was also particularly inspiring to see how many senior members of staff had started their careers as trainees at the firm.

Overall, I learned that my own values and preferred working environment mean that I’m well suited to the firm and the firm is well suited to me.

What key skills are required to have a successful experience on the vacation scheme?

Strong interpersonal skills are really important during the vacation scheme. To get the most of a vac scheme, it’s important to speak with as many people as possible so you can gain a deeper understanding of a firm’s culture, practice areas and day-to-day working life. It’s also great to keep in communication with fellow vacation schemers since you’ll likely be working together on tasks, but also because you’ll most probably have things in common and be able to offer each other support.

What’s one piece of advice you’d pass on to future vacation schemers?

Seek opportunities to learn more about the firm and a legal career more generally. Ask lots of questions and be a sponge of information. Make an effort to meet people outside of the department you’re working in and learn about their practice areas, career journeys and so on. A vacation scheme is a two-way street and an excellent opportunity to discover whether a firm (and a legal career) is right for you. By being proactive and enthusiastic, you can get the most out of the opportunity for yourself while also putting your best foot forward.