Friendly, approachable and bold – that was my immediate impression when I arrived at Pinsent Masons.
Following a variety of presentations & training about what to expect from the firm and how we could get the best from our placements, the firm was brought to life with its modern design already of huge appeal and the staff did a great job of making us all feel at ease.
It was lunch time before we knew it, after which we met our supervisors and joined our Practice Groups.
My first day was spent in Litigation, Regulatory & Tax with Songul Matyar. Songul was extremely enthusiastic and made me feel completely at ease. After having a brief chat together, I was soon assigned my task for the day. I actually ended up finishing later than expected, however it didn’t matter because I enjoyed what I was doing.
From the very first minute I arrived, I got this feeling of friendship from Pinsent Masons and I’m now even more excited to see how the rest of the week goes!
Despite the temperatures in London reaching 28 degrees, with a day in the office sounding far from appealing, we all arrived promptly, full of enthusiasm and blended in with the rest of the staff! By day two I certainly agreed with the lawyers when they said Pinsent Masons is ‘the friendly firm’.
All eight students aspiring to qualify as lawyers, yet each of us were so unique, it was really interesting getting to know a little bit about one another, what we were studying, and our hopes for future education (which ranged from a simple law degree to biomedical sciences with a conversion course into law).
On my first two days I spent time with the Property department, an area which wouldn’t have been my first choice for learning about life in a law firm. However, since working with the team it is now definitely a department which I would be interested in learning more about in the future when I go on to study law.
My supervisor Alice Chester was so welcoming and explained a lot about her time as a trainee. I was given the responsibility of taking information from transfer forms and completing ‘application to change the register’ documents in order to send to the land registry.
I hadn’t expected first hand involvement in that type of work, nor had I expected to be welcomed so openly and was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed spending my day in the office when the sun was shining.
On Wednesday I joined the Corporate department and helped cross-check the details of a merger. This insight into the legal side of mergers and acquisitions was really interesting as I often wondered why mergers and acquisitions in the news took so long to complete.
This gave me a deep insight into what sort of documents are needed in a corporate case, and the sort of in-depth work a team must to do in order to cover all the bases of a corporate case in detail to provide the best possible service to the client.
All in all, it was a very rewarding day in Corporate – I learned a great deal about the sort of work a corporate team will undertake and what exactly that entails. I managed to get vital first-hand experience and familiarity with legal documents in a really friendly atmosphere.
By Thursday, the packed tube journey and the rush of people had become normal to me. I no longer felt as though I was an intruder – I now felt like a Londoner! I had the same feeling of belonging as I walked into the office – everyone was so friendly and welcoming. This feeling was strengthened when I met Osaruchi and the rest of the CAD team.
As we had no presentations in the morning, for the first time this week the reality of working at Pinsent Masons really came to light. I was looking forward to getting an insight into working in the CAD team as dispute law was something that really interested me.
My first task was based around liquidated damages, admittedly I knew little about this area. This was extremely interesting as I was forced to consider loads of possible circumstances and reach a conclusion on whether the claim would be seen as a legitimate interest or whether it would be regarded as a penalty. By the end of the task I felt a real sense of achievement and realised how much i had learnt.
From Pinsent Masons website, it is evident technology has aided the company’s innovation as it is ever developing. It is something that the law firm takes a huge interest in.
I was able to see first-hand how technology aids Pinsent Masons as I took part in a live Facebook group chat. This was a great platform for work experience students across the country to network and share experiences. It was also hugely helpful that Songul (a trainee), Kirsty (HR) and Cathie (HR) were on hand to answer any questions and offer advice. The questions ranged from general work hours to things that would make your application stand out. I think I speak for everyone when saying that the opportunity to participate in this chat was invaluable.
The final day came with both a heavy heart and much excitement for the day ahead.
In the morning we had a Business Group Exercise as part of our timetable and no one had any idea what to expect! With some strong personalities the discussion was interesting, and all we soon came up with some great solutions once we all agreed! We received positive feedback all round for our efforts.
I had the privilege of working alongside the Employment Team and was given a work to complete over the course of the day which was incredibly interesting.
Everyone was so lovely to us over the week, were very accepting and accommodating, but best of all we didn’t feel inferior in any way.
5:30pm soon came around once again, and it was time to leave Pinsent Masons for the final time. It was with a heavy heart I handed over my flashy security pass and said a final farewell to the team who had always been so welcoming. I walked out the door for the final time, beaming from the best experience I could have hoped for at Pinsent Masons.
Just as the second lockdown struck, so approached application deadlines for vacation placements. So, here’s an overview of how I got to know Pinsent Masons virtually.
Read about Taylor's experience of our Virtual Vacation Scheme
Anne Sammon is an Employment & Reward Partner in London. Anne has significant experience in tribunal and high-court litigation in areas including discrimination, unfair dismissal and whistleblowing.