A week before the placement, all the interns participating in the firm’s summer placements (the vacation scheme and the diversity and inclusion focused 10,000 Interns programmes) were invited to a lunchtime presentation on what to expect during the placements and take part in a masterclass on personal productivity. As my train makes its way into Euston Station for the induction day, I find myself flicking through the slides to remind myself of how to make the most of my time at Pinsent Masons.
The in-person induction for all England-based students begins with an ice breaker and introductions to the Graduate Recruitment team, after which we meet Andrew Masraf, Senior Partner. Andrew tells us about his start at the firm as trainee and his progression in Private Equity to Senior Partner whilst retaining the same PA, Lorraine, for almost all of that 30 year period. We hear about how important it is for the firm to deliver with purpose and maintain relationships both internally and with clients. The underlying question is: what does Pinsent Masons look like on its best day? This theme of relationships is one that we keep coming back to throughout the day.
Andrew tells us about one of his sources of inspiration, Matthew Syed, the former Olympic table tennis player and author of ‘Bounce: The of Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice’. We hear about how progress and subject matter expertise is achieved through purposeful practice, and I find myself inspired, scribbling down a reminder to look up Matthew Syed’s work in my notebook, as I leave the room for the first of three networking events scheduled for the day.
At the first networking event, I make the most of the opportunity to speak to the other vacation scheme interns in the different offices. It is really lovely to meet such a wide variety of people and listen to what they are hoping to achieve through the vacation scheme. I also speak to some of the lawyers at the firm, including Chris, a trainee solicitor and career changer, who tells me that he was previously an engineer and a client to Pinsent Masons. At a later panel interview, Chris tells everyone that it was this experience and the client relationship he built with Pinsent Masons that encouraged him to pursue a legal career, and I am reminded of Andrew’s earlier presentation on the value of a firm which people enjoy working with.
We then hear from the Pensions Team, who tell us about cross-working and cross-referrals within the firm, and how client bases in the UK and built and maintained. We also hear from an IP Litigation solicitor, who tells us about how the firm collaborates with US firms to generate growth and build relationships across the Atlantic. What is evident from listening to the speakers at Pinsent Masons is that positive relationships are the cornerstone of the firm. When the firm says that it is bold, approachable and connected, it really means it.
Following the final networking event on the top floor terrace of the firm, where everyone meets with a variety of London based Partners, Associates, and Trainees, I head out of the office and pull out my ‘phone from my bag. I download Matthew Syed’s audiobook and begin listening as I walk back to the London Underground.