My name is Jennifer and this summer I embarked upon a nerve-wracking journey as I was beginning my first ever virtual summer placement. However, as I reflect on my time at Pinsent Masons, all I feel is gratitude that I was fortunate enough to be involved in such an incredible experience.
Although Covid-19 has affected every single one of us in some fashion, Pinsent Masons’ graduate recruitment team dedicated significant time and effort to make this internship as thoughtful, innovative and interesting as possible. On the first day, I was welcomed by people of all levels, whether that was a Partner or a Trainee Solicitor. During the induction, we participated in a Q&A session with Richard Foley, collaborated during a commercial awareness workshop, listened to a webinar on how to be a successful trainee solicitor, and networked with our peers and PM representatives. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and warm, and it was one of the first things I noticed upon arrival (albeit virtually).
It may come as a surprise that there were many upsides to completing the placement virtually. Firstly, I was able to connect with a variety of people across the UK and create long-lasting relationships with people I would not have necessarily met. The firm’s clever use of ‘breakout rooms’ on Microsoft Teams allowed the participants to collaborate in smaller groups and get to know each other on a more personal level. The firm’s Purpose, ‘champion change, promote progress and enable everyone to make business work better for people’ truly resonates as an integral part of the firm as they adapted so flawlessly into a virtual setting. Although I conducted the placement at home, I have never felt more connected to a firm.
Another benefit of working from home was that I was able to work on a multitude of engaging tasks and had the opportunity to learn about various areas of law and how they work in practice. Conducting a ‘Due Diligence’ task and various commercial awareness exercises, all while receiving positive and constructive feedback, has expanded my knowledge greatly. Additionally, having all tasks and upcoming events on InsideSherpa’s internship platform was incredibly user-friendly and easily accessible. Attending insightful and interactive webinars was another great aspect of the scheme. My personal favourite included the ‘Design Thinking Sprint’ group task hosted by Pinsent Masons Advance Delivery Team where participants discussed unique and innovative ideas on how to improve the firm’s communication with clients.
Another exceptional element of the placement was the sense of comradeship and the variety of social events. I find it amazing that I was able to take part in a pub quiz, a cocktail-making social event and a virtual bingo night all from my bedroom! Although I never got the chance to meet anyone in person, I was able to arrange various Zoom calls with other interns and still make the most of this unfamiliar experience.
Every participant was assigned to a team so we can broaden our knowledge of a specific department, and we each had a supervisor and a buddy to look after us virtually. My Senior Associate supervisor and Trainee Solicitor buddy were both incredibly kind and supportive. They were always willing to explain complex areas of law and discuss what it is like to work at Pinsent Masons. The weekly check-ups made me feel as if I was working in the office and encouraged me to strive for success on all tasks I was given.
If you are considering applying for a summer placement or a training contract with Pinsent Masons, don’t hesitate! This is a firm that will do everything in its capabilities to deliver a personalised and creative programme that allows every individual to have fun and genuinely be themselves. Pinsent Masons taught me to be bold and innovative in the face of adversity and allowed me to develop valuable skills and friendships that I will forever cherish. If you see yourself working for a firm that is truly inclusive and approachable, all while allowing you to challenge yourself, then this is the firm for you.
Vacation schemes these days are likened to ‘gold dust’ for many reasons – they’re difficult to secure but experiencing them is very valuable. Add to that the highly competitive graduate recruitment market, the somewhat daunting application and assessment process and the fact that the majority of law firms recruit at the same time, meaning the preparation and submission of several application forms in a short period of time and it’s a tricky time for any future lawyer.
‘Champion change, promote progress and enable everyone to make business work better for people’.
Going into the Pinsent Masons vacation scheme, I was understandably apprehensive about the upcoming 3 weeks.