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Three most valuable lessons I’ve learnt during my Vacation Placement

So you passed all the assessments and the interview and have finally got on to the elusive vacation scheme. What now? How do you nail the internship and get the training contract? Hopefully this blog will give you a place to start.

Tip 1: Keep asking questions

This should be taken holistically. At Pinsent Masons, Innovation is at the heart of the business. However, no one knows where the next big innovation will come from. This is why, to be a great potential trainee at the firm you should absorb information from everywhere. You should ask any and every employee about their experience of the firm. Really try and strike up a conversation (where appropriate) rather than simply going through the motions. Some of the most fascinating bits of knowledge I have gained have been in general conversation, not even necessarily about the firm. You will keep generating new ideas and this will, little by little, give you more genuine insight into life at Pinsent Masons and develop your networking skills. This should be applied to the work as well. Whenever you’re given a task, keep asking questions about the wider role the task plays in the work. The more you understand about what your team does, the better you’ll understand the commercial world in which solicitors operate.

Tip 2: Keep thinking

You should definitely be working hard during your internship. However, don’t fail to reflect on what Pinsent Masons does as a firm and its Purpose. Why does it want to become Purpose-led? What separates it from other law firms? How do you see this on a day to day basis around the office? These are the sort of questions that will be asked in your assessment for the training contract, so keep in mind while you’re there. It’s also worth remembering that this is a two-way street. As you do your work, talk to its employees and reflect: is this the right firm for you? If you have reached this stage you clearly have potential to be a great solicitor. You can be picky. Don’t feel rushed into committing to a firm you don’t fit into.

Tip 3: Keep having fun

Yes, there is time to help your trainee buddy hide your supervisor’s Babybels and question the oddities on his desk. There is definitely time to go to the cocktail making with the trainees and discuss Love Island. Most importantly, there is no time like the present so turn up to the social events and get to know the people you’ll be spending your days (and probably more than a few) nights with. Start a WhatsApp chat with the other interns. Go out for lunch together. Getting involved with all aspects of the internship will help you be yourself and get the most out of your two weeks.

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