1. Please give an overview of what your work experience involved:
We had presentations in the morning about the different ways of getting into law, the different aspects of it and the roles of solicitors in commercial law. We also had a mock tribunal on the Friday which we were given time to prepare for and that was really interesting. In the afternoons we were put into different departments and worked with our supervisors who provided work for us that was similar to that of a trainee. This gave us an insight into the work we would actually be doing if we were to pursue law as a career.
2. What training and skills development did you learn from your work experience?
By working with our supervisors in the afternoons, we were able to see what trainee solicitors do on a daily basis. Also, we were given plenty of feedback for the work we completed and were invited to ask as many questions as we wished. As well as this, we were given multiple presentations to help us understand what working in a commercial law firm was like.
3. To what extent did you enjoy your work experience?
I really enjoyed it. It made me realise I wanted to study law at university and the work we were given showed me that it was something I could definitely do in the future. Everyone was really friendly and helpful and the whole week was very informative and fun. It was also nice meeting other aspiring solicitors of my age.
4. How well organised was your work experience?
It was very well organised. We were provided with a schedule at the start of the week and everything ran really smoothly. Our supervisors always arrived to pick us up on time despite their busy work schedules and we were constantly given tasks to complete so that we were never bored.
5. How much did you learn about the company culture and what it would be like to work there?
I learnt a lot about the company culture through presentations and asking questions. It seemed like a really nice place to work with a supportive atmosphere and nobody seemed to be too stressed out which is usually the case at large law firms. I also learnt that Pinsent Masons provides their staff with free yoga sessions.
6. How much did your work experience help you in deciding on your future career path?
It helped a lot. It made me realise I wanted to study law at university and potentially go into a commercial law firm when I’m older. It was good to learn about what solicitors actually do on a day-to-day basis because this was always something I was intrigued about.
7. Were you paid or reimbursed for this experience?
No we weren’t paid or reimbursed for the experience. We did receive a £5 lunch voucher for the deli on the first day but other than that we were expected to get to and from the firm ourselves and either bring or pay for our own lunch. It was a valuable experience though.
8. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees?
There were opportunities to talk to other employees but it was clear they were very busy so I didn’t want to disturb them. This is not to say they weren’t friendly because they were very approachable but I knew how tight their work schedule must have been and so I didn’t want to disturb them.
9a. Would you recommend Pinsent Masons to a friend?
The placement was very informative and allowed me to decide what career path I wanted to go down. It gave me a good insight into the life of a solicitor and the work-life balance at the firm and it was really nice meeting other people my age that were interested in the same career.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Pinsent Masons?
Just be honest. I left the whole ‘awards’ section of the application blank because I had none and because of this I was certain I wouldn’t get a place, but I did. Exam results and awards aren’t everything - they want to see your passion for law and why you are a good choice for this placement so make sure this comes through on the application. Also, make the most of it. It’s a great opportunity to ask as many questions as you want.
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