1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role included working within different departments, being assigned to a different trainee lawyer each day, giving me a more rounded view of the firm as I was involved with a multitude of departments. As I was involved in a variety of departments my tasks varied greatly. On a given day I was doing anything from checking an amending non disclosure agreements to filling in land registry applications.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
The programme really challenges you to think intuitively for solutions, in this regard I think that I have developed my planning and strategy making skills as well as my analysis skills. Furthermore working in the firm allowed me to experience using such tools as companies house and westlaw - resources that qualified lawyers around the country make use of. Familiarising myself with these tools was an invaluable experience and one that is sure to help any prospective solicitor.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I thoroughly enjoyed the program, I felt that it was well prepared and structured. Particularly impressive to me was that they had mapped out what each inductee was to be doing for the week and had a timetable broken down to hours within a day of what they would be doing. Such attentiveness was a welcome surprise as many work placements offer a substantially lower degree of attention to their inductees. All of the staff that had interacted with at the firm were friendly, from trainees to partners.
4. How valued do you feel by Pinsent Masons?
I was made to feel particularly valued as a an inductee. Almost all the work I completed was given feedback at the end of the day, supervisors regularly thanked and congratulated me for completing tasks to a high level and I was involved in actual tasks that the team were involved in as opposed to pointless busy work. An improvement that Pinsent Masons could make in this area is the addition of an end of week review of the inductee, perhaps primarily drawn from comments of the 4 trainees they worked with. It would be an excellent way for the inductee to comprehensively gauge what they brought to the firm the week that they were there.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The program was well structured as each inductee was assigned a personal trainee lawyer who supervised them on a one to one basis. Furthermore the inclusion of a schedule of what we would be doing for the week was a welcome surprise, the day would usually be broken down as a presentation and/or activity in the morning followed by work in a specific department for the latter half of the morning and the entirety of the afternoon.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Despite the fact that each trainee that supervised me was immensely busy they still found time to be available for me whenever I needed their assistance. Every trainee I worked with offered me feedback on the work that I did and seemed to have a genuine interest in my experience of the firm and particularly their department. The general demeanor of the staff was very open, friendly and accessible.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I did not have an employer, see above for my thoughts on my supervisors throughout the week
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Although this was an unpaid work experience week, the potential pay one can earn from working at this firm is definitely upper tier and would cover living and social costs without too much difficulty even lower down on the hierarchal ladder.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Although there were none taking place whilst I was there, there are regular athletic and academic competitions that help the workforce gel together. Additionally, there are dress down and casual days that fulfill a similar purpose.
9. Would you recommend Pinsent Masons to a friend?
I would recommend Pinsent Masons to a friend as, firstly, it is a leading, elite law-firm with an international presence - there are few places to get a better understanding of what life as a solicitor would entail. Secondly, their program is remarkably engaging and thought out, with everything from relevant presentations on entry routes into law to working within an actual practice group involved.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Pinsent Masons?
During the application, be sure to convey your passion and knowledge about both the firm and the wider legal world, proof read your work and make sure it is not rushed and you have completed it to the best of your ability.
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