Tuesday, 18 June 2019, last week of my placement
Entering the office, I cheerily greet Karen, the receptionist.
Sitting at my desk amongst the Edinburgh TMT team, I check and reply to emails. My shoulders and quads ache from last night’s energetic yoga class taught by Gillian, one of Pinsent Masons’ Partners. I attach an appreciative note for the cathartic class to my LinkedIn invitation to connect.
Returning to reception, I register for an event hosted by the Scottish Financial Enterprise and Pinsent Masons. On this occasion, a panel is held to reflect on 20 years of Scottish devolution, and its potential challenges and opportunities for Scottish financial services.
I liven up with a cup of tea and greet my supervisor, Leanne. In Pinsent Masons’ open plan office, Leanne seeks solace in the private phone booth (affectionately referred to as ‘The Cupboard’) to work on high-pressure matters. This week, Leanne is deftly juggling tasks for three clients.
At the event, and after eying up the sausage rolls, I begin networking and boldly approach one of the attendees. “Hi, I’m Rachel, what are your interests in devolution?”
“Hi Rachel, as the Chief Executive of the EICC…” I blush, feeling sheepish as I realise I have much to learn.
The panel consists of former UK Government Minister, Rt.Hon. Douglas Alexander, and prominent pollster, Mark Diffley. They tease out issues on devolution affecting the workforce from a social policy and economic perspective. It’s a refreshing angle after the more abstract academic approach learnt during the first year of my graduate-entry LL.B. at the University of Edinburgh.
“Are we still on for our 2-5 meeting?” I ask Scott, a member of the Public Policy team that organized the event, who confirms. I draft a case note for Kathryn, a TMT Legal Director, concerning the May 31st Supreme Court of Ireland decision between the Data Protection Commissioner against Facebook and Max Schrems. The purpose of this task is to update Pinsent Masons’ employees nationwide of the ruling and inform them of the upcoming CJEU case hearing on July 9th.
Later that day, I nibble at my lunch while perusing a Legal Instruction Sheet and Services Agreement. This is preparation for a call I’ll sit in on for a client’s procurement of new IT services led by Carolyn, a TMT solicitor. Afterwards, we discuss an issue raised regarding liability.
There’s a tight turnaround between the call and heading from the Edinburgh Fountainbridge office to the Edinburgh Princes Exchange office to assist the Public Policy team. Tasked with conducting research on Boris Johnson’s policies in light of the Conservative Party leadership race, this material will inform sector heads and clients on Johnson’s views on key areas in order to predict business development.
I finish my work day saving notes from a BCS, Chartered Institute for IT talk on data-driven decisions in the workplace at PwC and I look forward to the rest of the week.
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.
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.
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