Jack decided upon a career in law whilst still studying at school, judging that the analytical and academic skills he gained would suit well to the role of a lawyer.
After deciding that the legal profession was the one for him, Jack applied successfully to Pinsent Masons’ Vacation Placement Programme and enjoyed an insight into life within an international law firm. After completing his summer placement, Jack was contacted by one of the Vario Account Management team asking whether he would be interested in becoming a freelance paralegal.
Upon discussing what work he could expect through Vario and formally applying, Jack was screened via robust psychometric testing and interviewed. He was then accepted into the Vario hub as a paralegal and an assignment from a client came up soon after. Describing his time on assignment, Jack comments “I really enjoyed it. It was exciting work not just filing or photocopying. It was genuinely interesting work. The client was very grateful for my contributions, and they gave me a lot of respect, trust and autonomy from day one.”
As the assignment was with an external client, Jack was posted to work from their office and gained first-hand experience of working within an in-house legal team, “The opportunity to experience life in-house is not one to be missed. The majority of people starting their training contracts have limited, if any, in-house experience, so this was a unique opportunity. The experience gained, and network of professional connections I made were very important to me.” Jack notes.
As well as gaining invaluable experience ahead of his training contract, Jack also learned that Vario enables legal professionals to enjoy a better work life balance than afforded to traditional employees. Jack recalls; “When I finished working full-time on the assignment, I worked on an ad-hoc basis and I was able to balance my studies with interesting and current legal work. The client was very flexible and helped fit work around my timetable; allowing for social time as well as fulfilling work duties. It gave me a lot of social opportunities which weren’t available to my peers.” The more flexible work schedule gave Jack more time for hobbies; “I’m actually a really keen piper. I’ve been playing since I was 6 years old and It has taken me all round the world. The flexibility that comes with working as a Vario allowed me more time to play and practise than I would have working in a full-time role.”
Since finishing as a Vario to commence his training contract with Pinsent Masons in Aberdeen, Jack offers some sage advice for other budding lawyers-to-be; “Take any experience that is on offer. I was very fortunate that the opportunity to join Vario came up at the right time. Vario was one of my best decisions I have made to date. Working in-house was very helpful and insightful. It allowed me to see how clients view lawyers and enhanced my understanding of their business. It gives you a much fuller understanding of the work lawyers do. To summarise, working as a Vario was a great experience, and one I would definitely recommend it.”
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.