1. Please give an overview of what your work experience involved:
The experience consisted of training sessions and group exercises most mornings, including a mock employment tribunal and hearing from trainees. This was followed by shadowing supervisors in different departments, with everyone having three different 'seats' throughout the week. Supervisors would introduce us to others in the department, and give us tasks to complete.
2. What training and skills development did you learn from your work experience?
Having only been in high street firms in the past, I learnt a lot about the commercial side of legal practice. I also developed teamwork skills through the group exercises, and expanded my legal knowledge while completing tasks given to me by my supervisors in different departments through the week.
3. To what extent did you enjoy your work experience?
My experience with Pinsent Masons and their staff was very enjoyable. The morning sessions were very useful, giving us an insight I felt we would not have been given outside of the placement. Trainees spoke frankly and truthfully. Every member of staff made all of us feel very welcome throughout the experience.
4. How well organised was your work experience?
The work experience was well organised, with structured morning activities and placements with three different supervisors throughout the week. At some points, I did feel like tasks had not been planned for us and we were left with nothing to do, but that is understandable in such a busy office. One of my supervisors also did not know to collect me, but I headed to HR and they were more than happy to help.
5. How much did you learn about the company culture and what it would be like to work there?
I learnt a great amount about the culture at Pinsent Masons, particularly because of the frankness of trainees and other members of staff. Everyone seemed friendly and helpful, the format of office space added to the wider collaborative atmosphere. The company values also came through really well. I would love to work in such a supportive and collaborative workplace.
6. How much did your work experience help you in deciding on your future career path?
The work experience placement at Pinsent Masons really has consolidated my decision to follow a career in law. The guidance given to me one-to-one by trainees, and during the group sessions, showed me that becoming a solicitor is accessible to everyone, given that you are prepared to put in the work.
7. Were you paid or reimbursed for this experience?
No, we received one £6 voucher for the first day, and travel costs were not reimbursed. This was disappointing, but the onsite canteen food prices were pretty reasonable. I think perhaps subsidising food and/or travel would help to widen participation in the scheme to those who would otherwise choose not to apply.
8. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees?
Every time I was taken to a new supervisor, they ensured that they introduced me to their whole team. Everyone from the partners to the PAs were more than happy to take time out of their schedules to speak with me about what I am currently doing and where I hope to be in the future. The one-to-one review of my CV at the end of the week also gave me the opportunity to talk to my supervisor about their journey into law.
9a. Would you recommend Pinsent Masons to a friend?
The experience was invaluable, both in terms of helping me to decide what I would like to do in the future and in giving me more to talk about in future vacation scheme/training contract applications. I also learnt a lot about the workings of a multinational commercial law firm.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Pinsent Masons?
I would strongly suggest researching the firm beforehand, and being clear in your application about why you have chosen to apply to Pinsent Masons in particular. You should also mention anything you have already done which demonstrates your determination to getting into law. If you have any questions, the HR team reply really quickly.
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