The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

Insider report Shoosmiths

Jessica Dancer attended a vacation scheme at Shoosmiths in June 2019. She studied economics, politics and international studies at theUniversity ofWarwick.

No of scheme places 40

What did you do while on the vacation scheme? I did a mixture of legal and commercial work on my vacation scheme; on the law side, I sat in commercial litigation and completed lots of real work for the department. For example, I put together a chronology of events for a dispute, researched different areas of law for a partner, sat in on meetings and even attended court one day. This gave me real insight into all the preparation that goes into litigation, as well as how solicitors and barristers interact with each other. On the non-law side, Shoosmiths set a commercial awareness project to complete during your spare time throughout the week. This involved putting together and researching a business plan in an area of your choice, which you then present to the training principle and your supervisors at the end of the week. What did you feel that you gained from the placement? I really got to know the firm and its culture. There’s only so much you can read online about a firm and while I was there, I believe I made genuine and lasting relationships, while also witnessing how collaborative the firm is. Within a day on my vacation scheme, everyone had made me feel comfortable and it ultimately confirmed that I’d like to have a career at Shoosmiths. The most enjoyable aspect was sitting in the department I was in – the team were a really great group of people. Before the vacation scheme, I didn’t really know anything about dispute resolution or litigation, so I particularly enjoyed gaining an insight into what it’s like to practise that area of law. I also enjoyed learning about what the firm does outside of work – for example, the social and charity work. I was involved in selling tickets for a charity pub quiz, which helped me get to know everyone and learn about their careers at Shoosmiths. Which were the most enjoyable - and most challenging - aspects of the scheme? The most challenging aspect was presenting to people who are experts in their field – especially knowing that you’ve only spent a few days researching and they’ve potentially spent their entire career practising in that area. That said, they did make me feel comfortable and I received great advice before and after the presentation. Did the scheme end with a training contract interview or some other kind of further recruitment process? Performing well on the vacation scheme and during the presentation gets you invited to an assessment day, which can lead to a training contract. Regardless of the outcome, they give thorough feedback at both stages. Is there one key thing that you took away from the experience that you would pass on as advice to others? Talk to as many people as you can because vacation schemes last only one or two weeks and your best resource is the people around you. Shoosmiths is a really friendly firm and everyone is so down to earth – you can garner so much information from conversations you have with others. You can always offer to help with any work if you have spare time. It’s important to remember that you’re there for a short period so bite the bullet, make the most of your time and ask people questions. You’re unlikely to come across badly by being inquisitive and enthusiastic.

Location of schemes Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Reading, Solent

Length of schemes 1 week

Remuneration (per week) £310

Dates of schemes June 2021

Closing date for applications 28 February 2021

Application procedure Apply online at For full contact information and details of Training Contract, see the firm’s full entry in the main directory on p393

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



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