What students look for in a vacation scheme
Our two week vacation scheme is designed to let students from any discipline get an understanding of our firm and gain work experience across various seats. It’s the perfect opportunity for us to get to know you, while you get to know us.
We spoke to Sarah who is due to start her training contract in 2018, to discuss her experiences on the scheme and share her advice for future applicants.
An experience tailored to you
My plan since I was 14 years old was to study law, so it was something I’ve been passionate about since a young age. I was however, advised to complete a different degree at university, so I completed my History degree in June of last year. I’m really glad I followed that advice as firms, especially Gowling WLG, value the different perspectives disciplines other than law can provide. A prime example of this is that during my vacation scheme everything was tailored to me – I could complete legal research in a way that didn’t require a legal background.
A positive atmosphere
From visiting their website and talking to people, I got a very positive impression about Gowling WLG. They’re an approachable firm, and that’s vital for a vacation scheme where you will be reading cases, conducting research and working on real cases from the start. In my second week I sat in on intellectual property and real estate meetings – two areas of work that Gowling WLG are renowned for. I’m really glad that Gowling WLG offered me the chance to work on real cases, as I think it’s important to feel like you’re able to get to know what the work is really like.
The combination of wanting to work somewhere with international scope, balanced with the friendly atmosphere I found at Gowling WLG helped me realise that I had made the right choice. You can read a lot about firms, but you have to experience being there to fully appreciate how they work and whether you would suit working there.
Support and integration
I was made to feel really welcome and had a lot of support available to me. Advisors were on hand throughout to explain the tasks I was assigned and even if they were really busy, they made the time to ask about any questions I might have had, explaining the basics to me and giving me more information. I never felt like I was a burden or in the way. I was encouraged to join in, and despite my lack of a legal background I was involved in cases and able to contribute, whether that was taking notes or giving my opinion during the drafting of contracts.
During my second week Wimbledon was on, so a lunch was organised to watch the tennis. I was included, which was lovely, and both weeks I was assigned a buddy who was a current trainee to offer advice and answer questions. Even people in the office who weren’t assigned as buddies still offered support so I really felt integrated into the office. And with drinks arranged for both introduction and at the close of the scheme, the social aspect was brilliant.
Play to your strengths
My advice to anyone applying for Gowling WLG’s vacation scheme would be to play to your individual strengths on your application. Even if those strengths are not legal related, if it stands out and is extracurricular then include it – this shows that you aren’t one dimensional and have transferable skills. So in my case I included that I was funded to do research while at Warwick University and that I spoke at a conference in Venice. I used this experience to show that I was working on my public speaking, meaning that Gowling WLG could see that I was motivated and resilient.
If Sarah has inspired you to find out more about our vacation scheme and how to apply, you can find out all you need to know, right here.