1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
A Paralegal/Legal PA type role, wiht an outward facing title of 'Legal Support Co-ordinator'. My job involves writing letters and sending documents. I do a lot of scanning documents and drafting standar form warranties. My relationship with people in the firm only really extends to the people in my department and a few others from around the office. I have had little contact with external people/clients.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed organisational skills mostly. A skill I have learnt almost from scratch is attention to detail, through checking my work for small mistakes and typing errors.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I understand why I do the jobs that I do, and why I haven't been given a more varied range of work, but at the same time I feel a bit put-out by that. I have had a few opportunities to get involved in social events and have enjoyed those. In fact what I found I enjoyed the most was the non work related activities (i.e. organising a charity event), I haven't been able to get excited or to enjoy much of the work I have done. This is mainly because I have discovered that the career is not for me.
4. How valued do you feel by Pinsent Masons?
I think I feel about as 'valued' as you can in a big firm. Within my team I felt like I was needed to do the jobs I've been doing because they need someone to do them. Outside of that however, I don't know.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The introduction to the programme was very organised, although I was not given all the details that others were given due to a confusion during a change of email that was not communicated effectively inside the firm. However, some of the key elements of the programme seemed to fizzle out. For example, I was supposed to have a monthly talk to discuss objectives and my progress. During my 8 month contract, I only ever had 2 of these talks.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I was provided with the same training that a graduate trainee would recieve, although a lot of it went over my head at times I feel like I have a good understanding of some of the issues in the area that I work.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I feel like my supervisor was interested in my future and even though I decided that I am not right for this particular career and that it is not right for me, my supervisor was still helpful in trying to get on the right track for what I want to do. I was given constructive character/professional points to work on during my time on the programme and appreciate that. However, I don't think that a lot of the people I have worked with were as honest with me as they could have been.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary more than covers my needs for all of my costs, it has allowed me to save a lot of money and to indulge on things I wouldn't usually have the money for.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I have manage to get involve in a range of 'non work related activities' such as charity events and local community out-reach programmes.
9. Would you recommend Pinsent Masons to a friend?
Because it is a good opportunity to take a year out of education and to earn some money and a lot of experience (especially if your end goal is to become a solicitor).
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Pinsent Masons?
I would like to have been more aware before the interview process that the work you do really depends on the department you will work in. I feel I have been lucky in the department I have been put in as it is relatively low-pressure/low-stress. I would recommend this programme to people who have an interest in law, and more importantly, to those who are not sure whether they want to become a solicitor or not. This experience changed my mind on what I wanted to do as it is not what I thought it would be like at all.
I did a lot of perparation for the application/interview process. Although I am still not sure exactly what they were looking for. You have to have a feel for how businesses work and what is valuable to a business for success. Also, proof-reading your application and making sure there are no stupid mistakes is essential.