1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a Gap Year Student working in the London office in the Construction Advisory and Disputes department. Tasks typically involve reviewing and drafting witness statements, reviewing various documentation and contracts, research, producing bundles, drafting letters to counsel, disclosure and updating client pages and relationships.
I'll generally be interacting daily with a variety of people - usually other lawyers and PAs within Pinsent Masons, barristers/clerks, print/post room and clients.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
It's been a fantastic experience to develop many skills and learn new ones. My ability to prioritise and balance work under pressure has been improved hugely and learning how to best liaise/deal with clients, barristers and other professionals. I have learnt a huge amount from many brilliant lawyers from both my department and others.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
It's been extremely enjoyable. The work is generally quite interesting but the people make everyday enjoyable and fun. The company culture is one that provides constant support and people are always happy to help out and give you valuable advice. It fully met my expectations and has been a fantastic way to spend the last 8 months.
4. How valued do you feel by Pinsent Masons?
The firm definitely makes me feel valued and the people who I do work for are always showing their appreciation for it. Everyone from Associates through to Partners will recognise the work I do for them and give feedback when appropriate. The tasks I have been doing have generally been typical of tasks done by trainees so I feel like the firm does make sure the work is high quality.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very well organised and I didn't ever feel like I was a loose end or lost. The induction week is structured in a great way and provides us with all the basic knowledge required to use our systems and devices. I had constant support from my supervisor and PA who would make sure I was involved in a variety of cases and work. I didn't feel like there was a hierarchy and all the partners are very approachable and welcome having a discussion.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
We did not have a training providor as such so I don't feel like this is a suitable question.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
There is plentiful support from Pinsent Masons and I have never felt like I have not been looked after. I haven't really had many problems and so haven't utilised all of the support available. However, whenever needing help with work or with any queries there are always people around who swiftly help and give me advice.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is great and has enabled me to both relocate to London and save up sufficient money to go travelling around Asia once I finish. It is enough to cover rent, tube, food and allow for social costs, while also being enough to save up a fair amount - you will struggle to earn more at this age doing anything else.
The location of the office in London is also fantastic. It is situated just near Liverpool Street in the heart of the city and has amazing views across London on some of the higher floors.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are an abundance of opportunities outside of work to get involved in. I have taken part in all of the following: Fortnightly maths mentoring at a school in Hackney, CV workshops and interviews at schools, career fairs at sixth forms, graduate recruitment presentation and law fair at Exeter University, networking at Kings College London and representing the firm at Bristol Law Conference. There is also ample opportunity to get involved in sports teams - I have played in client football tournaments/matches, 6 a side games and played cricket at Lords.
9. Would you recommend Pinsent Masons to a friend?
Fantastic opportunity to gain legal experience at a top commercial law firm which will look brilliant on a CV and you will learn so much.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Pinsent Masons?
Make sure there are no spelling/grammatical errors on your CV/Application form and get someone else to read over what you have said for a different perspective. Make sure you keep abreast of commercial news and developments so you are sufficiently able to discuss topical issues in your interviews. Maximise the opportunities you already have or try and find any kind of experience to give you something to show. Get involved in extra curricular activities and positions of responsibility.
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