I completed my vacation scheme in August 2016 and it lasted for two weeks. I was recommended by someone who worked at my previous placement. She had a friend who specialised in employment law. However, I still had to go through the application process and was fortunate to be granted a placement. My journey every morning to this firm was beautiful, as I was not far from the River Thames.
First impressions always count. I always recommend to dress very smartly on the first day and then observe what other employees are wearing, and you can then adapt if necessary. You’ll often do a fair bit of walking, so make sure you have comfortable shoes on.
My vacation scheme provided me with a schedule prior to my start date. This was very useful as I knew how each day would be spent. My firm gave me a research project to complete within the two weeks when I had free time, so I always had a task to do. You don’t want to be sat at a desk staring into space because you have nothing to do – so try speaking to your placement manager about doing a research project in your spare time. It is a good way to leave a lasting impression and shows initiative.
I got so much out of the experience. I particularly enjoyed shadowing Barristers and Partners because it was inspiring. You learn so much about whether Law is for you by shadowing, as you are placed right in the centre of the law firm. Client meetings are also a great way to observe the way solicitors ask key questions. I learned so much about myself and how I would approach cases. Don’t be afraid to share a different solution to a case with your placement manager, because for all you know you may be the only one who has thought of it!
Most importantly enjoy yourself, and don’t forget to create a diary of all your experiences to add to your CV and applications!
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