Reminiscing on a Cripps vacation scheme
Vacation schemes provide a realistic insight into what it is like to work at a particular law firm, providing the opportunity to work with the firm’s lawyers; get hands-on experience by completing tasks on current matters; and get a true feel of the firm’s culture.
Second year trainee solicitor, Charlotte Dixon, reminisces on her experience during the Cripps vacation scheme, and provides her insight into what prospective students can expect from this two week period.
During the vacation scheme at Cripps, you sit in three “mini seats” in different practice areas of the firm, including corporate, private client and commercial real estate. You will be supervised by a trainee solicitor and work with other members of the team, and most likely meet many other legal professionals from different teams in the kitchen.
You will work on a number of live matters, and may even attend client meetings. Tasks I carried out included property occupier research, reviewing company structures, drafting an application for divorce, legal research and drafting blogs.
Sitting in teams across the firm provides vast exposure to the type of work that Cripps deals with and our clients, giving both law and non-law students experience in a variety of practice areas.
Presentations and talks
In addition to “fee-earning work”, I completed two presentations to legal professionals.
Each student was tasked with presenting a pre-determined individual topic, for example, “The concept of domicile in the context of UK taxation”. I also gave a group presentation to fee earners pitching a charity to be chosen as the firm’s next charity of the year, enabling teamwork skills to be utilised and working relationships with members of the cohort to develop.
Members of the audience (including the managing partner) asked questions (encouraging you to think on your feet) and provided constructive and honest feedback to each vacation scheme student, highlighting potential areas for development as well as skill strengths. These tasks proved particularly invaluable for my prospective training contract application to Cripps.
I also received talks from various departments, including finance, business development and marketing, and other legal professionals, giving a broader understanding of the running of a law firm.
Outside of work hours, you are encouraged to participate in the firm’s social and sport activities, for example I played netball for the Cripps team in the local netball league.
I also attended the Wimbledon finals event in the Sky Lounge and on the roof terrace (with Pimms and strawberries and cream in full flow). This provided an insight into the social side of the firm and enabled me to converse with fee earners on a more personal level.
These additional activities provide the opportunity to forge both professional and personal relationships with fellow members of your vacation scheme cohort and other fee earners.
Of course, the vacation scheme was completed with group lunches and a celebratory trip to the pub at the end of the two weeks!
If you are interested in gaining experience from an award-winning vacation scheme at Cripps, please visit our vacation scheme for further details of what you can expect and how to apply.