Emily completed the Shoosmiths summer placement in June 2018. She describes the experience as “thoroughly enjoyable, and without a doubt, it was the Shoosmiths’ culture that blew me away!”
For me, the decision to apply to Shoosmiths was an easy one. After interacting with the firm at a few events, it quickly became apparent that the culture Shoosmiths promotes was something I wanted to learn more about and experience directly. I did not waste any time when the applications for the vacation scheme opened and made sure I submitted my application in advance of the deadline. I received the invitation to attend the vacation scheme in the Real Estate team a few months later (which was great motivation during exam time!).
Prior to the placement commencing, I made contact with my host to ask if there was any reading I could complete beforehand to give me an insight into the Real Estate team. I found this preparation gave me confidence on the first day because I already had some background knowledge as my host had been very informative and approachable.
During the placement I was tasked with a variety of ‘real work’ to undertake. I completed research for a Partner; checked through a Lease Agreement for an Associate; and drafted client letters for a Paralegal. I found the diverse work exposure from people at different levels within the firm really helped provide me with an insight into how the roles at Shoosmiths fit together to create a sound team. It was great to see how the Real Estate team worked together and shared in their success - when a completion occurred bubbles were blown around the office!
Alongside the work I completed for the Real Estate team I was tasked with an assignment and a project from Graduate Recruitment. The project consisted of a presentation at the end of the week focusing primarily on the business side of the firm and I was fortunate enough to have a Partner attend. This was an extremely valuable experience because I was able to talk directly to the Partner about my ideas once I had finished presenting and also discuss the future strategy of the firm with them.
During my time at the Milton Keynes office, I organised a team building exercise for the whole office as part of ‘Health and Safety Week’ which allowed me to witness the different teams within the office being competitive with one another in a fun environment. This helped me get to know other people within the office and illustrated that the values I had witnessed within the Real Estate team were present amongst everyone. This was reinforced when I went for lunch with the trainees who confirmed to me that everyone at the firm has the same attitude and outlook on working life.
One of the main things that really stood out at Shoosmiths was the people. It became clear very quickly that Shoosmiths’ values really are at the heart of the firm and I think this is what makes Shoosmiths stand out. The non-hierarchal culture and open plan office illustrated the importance of collaboration. Everybody was friendly, approachable and happy to answer any questions that I had. The Real Estate team made a great effort to ensure I felt included in everything. I participated in team briefs, giving me an insight into the business side of the firm; and I also had the opportunity to go for lunch with the Real Estate team and talk to everyone in an informal setting.
My time at Shoosmiths was thoroughly enjoyable and valuable from start to finish. I would encourage anyone considering a career in commercial law to apply for a vacation scheme with Shoosmiths – I was sad to leave, but hope I’ll get the chance to return!
If you're applying for legal work experience, you may also be interested in reading “First Impressions Lead to Lasting Impressions” By Brendan Collar, or watching our latest ShoosmithsLIVE video.
The deadline to apply for a summer vacation placement is 28th February each year. Click here to apply.
If you have any specific questions, you can contact the graduate recruitment team via twitter or email.
Read more posts with advice about summer vacation placements on the Shoosmiths careers blog.