The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

Insider report DWF Group PLC

Will Lloyd attended a vacation scheme at DWF in June 2019. He studiedEnglish literature at the University of Sheffield.

No of scheme places c.25

What did you do while on the vacation scheme? I spent two weeks in DWF’s Manchester office. In week one I sat in the employment team – in particular, the private claims team – and then the commercial litigation team. There were also a mixture of activities – including practice group sessions led by divisional managers and other key members of staff providing overviews of each division’s work, which gave a 360-degree view of DWF as a global legal business. The scheme concluded with a mock client pitch in front of partners and staff playing the part of the client. We had periods during the scheme to prepare in groups, which encouraged us to consider how to demonstrate what we had learnt. What did you feel that you gained from the placement? I received insight into aspects of the business that you don’t necessarily see without being there. For example, a senior associate from the commercial litigation team led a session covering the importance of the business’ international presence when dealing with cross-jurisdictional matters and how this promotes successful inter-office collaboration in practice. After receiving an accurate depiction of what it’s like to train and work there, I was keen to secure a training contract. We also had a networking session exclusively with trainees, which meant we could be open with our questions, plus a partner dinner where we could ask more high-level questions that you might not get to ask during a working day. Which were the most enjoyable - and most challenging - aspects of the scheme? I enjoyed getting stuck into the legal work, particularly a document that was sent to the client the same week. It was great to see work I’d had a hand in being delivered to a client. I had quite a lot of responsibility, considering I was only a vac schemer, which was enjoyable and challenging as it was a load that I hadn’t anticipated. Although the client pitch was challenging, it was also enjoyable because we worked together as candidates, which broke down competitive barriers. We were encouraged to present the pitch how we wanted, so we owned every decision as a group. This was important, as at times we were unsure whether we were on the right track, but the feedback we received was really positive. Did the scheme end with a training contract interview or some other kind of further recruitment process? Yes – successful candidates from the schemes at different DWF offices are invited to the ‘Meet the Leaders’ event, which is a half-day at the business’ headquarters in Manchester. The morning consists of breakfast, networking sessions in small groups and a lunch with assessors and candidates. The networking sessions are different from a conventional partner interview because three candidates work together to network with a member of the senior leadership team every 20-25 minutes. I received my training contract offer later that day. Is there one key thing that you took away from the experience that you would pass on as advice to others? Consider how you view the other candidates. I think it’s a mistake to see them as competition – if you establish a genuine rapport, it makes for a more positive experience for everyone. Being a good listener and receptive to new information is also vital. While asking questions is great, you must show that you’re engaged and aren’t asking questions to fill a silence.

Location of schemes Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, London, Birmingham

Length of schemes 2 weeks

Remuneration (per week) £250-£275 depending on location

Dates of schemes June 2021

Closing date for applications 22 January 2021

Application procedure Application form, video interview and assessment centre For full contact information and details of Training Contract, see the firm’s full entry in the main directory on p309

Remember to cite The LawCareers.Net Handbook on your application form if you apply to this law firm.



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