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Vacation Scheme Case Study – Pinsent Masons

In this vacation scheme case study, we spoke to Laura who recently completed a vacation scheme at Pinsent Masons. Laura talks openly to The Lawyer Portal about her experiences of the scheme, how she prepared for it, the type of work she undertook and how the scheme as a whole was structured.

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How did you prepare for the vacation scheme?

When I was offered a vacation scheme with Pinsent Masons, I did not know what to expect from them, nor how much would be expected from me. In the weeks leading up to the placement, I made sure I was fully prepared. This involved reading business news, and buying new clothes to wear.

What did your vacation scheme involve and what sort of work did you undertake?

On the first day of my placement, all placement students met in London for a group induction. This was a good opportunity to meet fellow students, trainees and the graduate recruitment team. The day involved presentations on the culture of the firm, tips for success, and what to expect from the placement. All the information presented to us on this day was very beneficial as it gave me an insight into what I would be doing over the next two weeks.

The following day, I was in the Manchester office, and was introduced to the Employment team, where I would be spending my remaining time. I was assigned a supervising trainee and a supervising solicitor, who were there to support me and oversee the work I did.

What specific tasks did you carry out?

During the two weeks, the tasks I was given were varied. One of my main responsibilities was to carry out research tasks. These were quite self-explanatory and easy to get to grips with, and anything I did not understand my supervisor was there to help me with. The research tasks I did were based on ongoing work the Employment team were doing, which made me feel like I was actually inputting something valuable into the team. The tasks helped me understand a lot about the work the Employment team did, and was a great opportunity for me to build key skills.

As well as research tasks, I was frequently given documents to proof read – for example, witness statements. One opportunity I had was to contribute to a presentation that one of the solicitors was giving during the week. I also attended a conference, sat in on a number of client calls, and attended a client meeting.

How was the vacation scheme structured?

Most mornings, all placement students would start the day with a presentation. These presentations were given to us by different departments within Pinsent Masons, and were designed to give us an insight into each area of work. This was a brilliant way of finding out what kind of work the firm did on a daily basis, and was a great way to see what interested me.

There were also a number of social events that were put on for us. These included a trainee lunch, partner drinks events, bowling, and an evening meal with the trainees. Activities like these are very common during vacation placements, and are a chance to get to know everyone in a more relaxed setting. They allowed me to really build relationships with the other placement students, and the employees at Pinsent Masons.

Did your vacation scheme involve any assessments?

During the last week, in order to be considered for the training contract, I attended another assessment day, which comprised of an interview, a presentation and an in-tray exercise. This was the toughest part of the week, but a great chance to show off all I had learnt.

My vacation scheme was a great experience, and a really useful way of confirming my interest in working for a commercial firm.

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