Our latest blog is written by Alexandra Walker. Alexandra recently completed a vacation scheme with Taylor Vinters and has accepted an offer to join the firm as a Trainee in September 2018. Completing a vacation scheme with Taylor Vinters is a compulsory part of the selection process for a training contract.
The concept of a vacation scheme used to alarm me. Why put yourself through two weeks of assessment rather than just one day? But every aspiring solicitor is advised to apply for one…
A vac scheme is a two-way assessment process. As well as the firm looking at you, the two weeks allow time for you to make a decision about the firm, decide if it’s somewhere you can envisage yourself working and ensure it’s the right culture for you. With this aim in mind, the two weeks I spent with Taylor Vinters were both challenging and rewarding. The scheme enabled me to gain real insight into the life of a trainee and to ensure that the firm would be the right fit for me.
My time on the scheme was split between the private client team in London and the employment team in Cambridge. Compared to previous work placements I’d undertaken, my experience with Taylor Vinters was distinctly different. There was no photocopying, no errands to run and no pretending-to-not-be-there shadowing. Instead, I was given complex and interesting tasks to complete; I was able to sit in on team meetings and I was able to discuss legal queries with anyone, regardless of whether they were a trainee or a partner.
I had been advised that vac schemes are what you make them, and Taylor Vinters provided every opportunity for me to make the most of my time. Simple things like drinks at the pub allowed me to see the firm’s sociable side, whilst attending a tech event, hosted by the firm, gave me an idea of its forward-thinking approach to law. As a team-building exercise, the vac schemers also took part in a mock mediation – an exciting challenge that enabled us to get to know each other better.
Being able to split the scheme between London and Cambridge was a highlight for me. Taylor Vinters’ culture doesn’t differ between locations but the individual cultures of the two cities are what made the experience unique. In London, the dizzying views from the firm’s 33rd floor offices made an incredible working environment, whilst the Cambridge office has a beautiful, historic city on its doorstep.
Above all, it was the people at Taylor Vinters who made the scheme so valuable. My supervisors were welcoming and approachable, but equally they weren’t afraid to challenge me and that made the experience more rewarding. Everyone I came across was willing to offer advice and give up their time to talk about their roles and the different routes they had taken into the legal world.
Taylor Vinters has an exciting feel and this is reflected in the investment the firm makes in the vacation scheme. For two weeks I was treated as a valued member of the team and the experience more than confirmed that this is the right firm and the right career for me.