Written by Chris Lewis-Laverty, Trainee Solicitor.
I completed the DWF Vacation Scheme in Edinburgh for two weeks after finishing my 3rd year at University, spending one week in the Corporate and Banking department, and the other in the Commercial Projects team. Throughout my fortnight there I did different research tasks and assisted various fee-earners from differing levels. This included attending departmental meetings with legal updates; going along to the Court of Session to watch a DWF case in action; and carrying out Companies House checks before lodging documents in Companies House (across the road).
As a side project the summer students were given the task or preparing a short presentation to present in front of a panel of DWF personnel and HR staff. This concerned 'pitching for a new client' thus researching the specific client's needs and working with another summer student to hone our presentational skills.
Out of the office environment we got involved with various activities in the evenings such as Edinburgh ghost tours; bar visits; and pizza making classes. This helped not only in getting to know the other members of the firm easily but also allowed us to have some fun.
After the vacation scheme some of us were invited to attend an assessment centre day in Manchester where we were tested on our group work; writing/organisational skills; presentation abilities; and a final interview. The final stage in the recruitment process concluded with being invited back to Manchester for the 'PGP Friday' event where the day was spent networking with Partners who head the various practice groups across the firm.
Having completed the vacation scheme I feel that it is definitely useful before starting DWF as a trainee as you already know some people within the firm; know your way around the office a bit more; and it made the transition from University to the office all the easier. In other words it got rid of that element of surprise and helped make the transition to a trainee all the easier.