08 December 2017

By trainee solicitor Siân James

A vacation scheme is a great opportunity to gain insight into life working at your chosen firm. During a vacation scheme you get to experience the work first-hand and importantly, to find out whether the firm suits you – does the culture match up to everything the marketing information promises?

Firms frequently report that large proportions of their training contract offers are made to those who did a vacation scheme with them. Here are some key things to remember to get the most out of your experience. 

1. You have already impressed the firm

It’s natural to feel nervous about a vacation scheme. There is an element of uncertainty about what to expect and with most schemes lasting between one to two weeks, it can be quite an exhausting trying to constantly impress and showcase your abilities.

Taking a moment to reflect on your achievements can give you the confidence boost you need to quash those nerves.

Like all trainee recruitment, there is a lot of competition when it comes to securing a place on a vacation scheme so it is worth remembering that you have already done extremely well to get on to the scheme.

Clearly, you have already impressed the firm and you have displayed the sort of qualities the firm looks for in its trainees. Take confidence from that and remember that your job during your time at the firm is now really just to reinforce that you’re the right fit.

2. Get stuck in

Collaboration is a core value at Burges Salmon, so it goes without saying that being a team-player is an important quality. But regardless of the firm, working with others is part of the territory when it comes to being a lawyer.

Showing an awareness of the people around you and their workloads is fundamental as you progress through the different stages of your career, so get started early and consider this on your vacation scheme.

Whether you’re having a casual conversation in the kitchen or speaking to your trainee buddy or supervisor, if you have capacity to take on work and you're keen to get as much experience as possible, don't be afraid to ask and to let people know. Even if you don't manage to get any new work this way, don't be disheartened. You’re proactive attitude won’t go unnoticed and people will appreciate your enthusiasm and willingness to get stuck in.

3. Think about your future ahead of the training contract

Don’t just rely on the current trainees to tell you what it’s like to work at the firm. Burges Salmon recruit with a view to retaining trainees, so working here could hopefully be the start of a long career at the firm.

With that in mind, speak to people at different levels and find out how they got there, what it’s like to be an NQ/associate/partner etc at the firm. Recruitment is a two way process and vacation schemes are a great way to assess whether you can see yourself working at a firm.

Make the most of the opportunities to ask questions and remember to think about your future ahead of the training contract.

Key contact

Holly Fey

Holly Fey Head of Resourcing

  • Recruitment and resourcing
  • Inclusive employment
  • New starter onboarding

Key things to remember on a vacation scheme

Clearly, you have already impressed the firm and you have displayed the sort of qualities the firm looks for in its trainees. Take confidence from that...
Sian James, Trainee Solicitor

Vacation scheme

Experience life at an award-winning law firm. Two weeks for us to get to know each other and shape your career.
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