Meet Rosie - Vacation scheme placement student:
Tell us a little about yourself
I did a history degree and then I did the law conversion, during which I applied for the vacation scheme at Stephenson Harwood. I did the two week Easter one and really enjoyed it, found it really challenging but also really rewarding and I was fortunate to be offered a training contract which is starting in September 2012. So I’m doing my LPC next year. Again at the College of Law in London.
What were your perceptions of Stephenson Harwood?
My perceptions were that it was a really thriving and developing firm. The fact that is was moving and it had so many international offices, but also that it was very approachable and not only doing really well but it has a nice culture and working environment.
How did you feel about joining the firm at the start of your placement?
Quite challenging in the fact that I didn’t really know exactly what they’d be looking for. However I didn’t necessarily feel disadvantaged, because I think that having a different discipline behind you could actually be an advantage as such. I learnt a lot of skills that are transferable from my history degree to a law conversion. I definitely found that the skills I got on my degree were useful on the vacation scheme.
What attracted you to Stephenson Harwood?
The fact that it’s a full service firm, I definitely didn’t want to go to a firm which specialised in only a few key areas. I think the fact that Stephenson Harwood have so many different sectors to it , commercial litigation to corporate and shipping. And that really attracted me.
Was the small intake important?
Definitely, I wanted to go to a firm like Stephenson Harwood where with the smaller the intake I hope to have early responsibility and be able to develop my skills and also be able to get to know the other people in the intak and be able to form strong relationships with them because I think that’s important.
What did you do on the placement scheme?
My vacation scheme was two weeks, on the first week I worked in the shipping finance department and I got to draft letters to clients and got to look in-depth at some of the client deals going on and that was really interesting as I have never been involved or exposed to shipping finance. In the second week, I worked in the real estate department and it was a complete contrast I specialised in looking at planning law and did a little bit of environmental law.
How did your supervisor support you?
It was just really good to have someone so experienced giving you pointers and telling you what you did well or what you could work on. In particular it really helped because I did a letter to a client and I had never had to draft one, and I had a great deal of information I had to get in. But I had to do it in a very concise and in a way that the client, not knowing the legal language behind it would understand. So that was a big challenge and my supervisor showed me the actual letter that went out and compared it to my one. So, by comparing I was able to see what I did well and what I can work on.
How do you feel about starting in September?
Definitely quite nervous about the work and what will be expected of me. But definitely excited about the challenge, in particular talking to current trainees on my vacation scheme, hearing all the early responsibility they got and the fact that their intake is quite small, you’ll get a great deal more responsibility. And I feel that I will learn a great deal from the start and hopefully hit the ground running. I am more excited and looking forward to it than anything else.