Kathryn is heading into the final year of her law degree at Lancaster University in September and has taken part in the summer vacation scheme to gain practical experience to assist her with her studies. With the aim of undertaking the Legal Practice Course once she has graduated, Kathryn has used the vacation scheme as an opportunity to gain a real insight into work at a solicitors’ firm.
“I chose to take part in a vacation scheme as I think gaining experience is fundamental for developing the skills necessary to practice as a solicitor in the future. It allows you to get involved in real client work and gain a further understanding of areas of law which are not necessarily covered within the scope of your law degree. It can also enable you to clarify your own career goals as you get the opportunity to see which practice areas you enjoy working in.”
The structure of the vacation scheme offers the students the opportunity to be placed in one legal department for a period of ten weeks. After two weeks training they become a valued member of the team being able to engage in a variety of different tasks. Spending time in one department gives the students a real awareness of how much work goes into each case and how the work is carried out. Kathryn told us what she enjoyed the most during the vacation scheme:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed all of my time at Stephensons. However, I particularly enjoyed being able to engage with clients on a one-to-one basis in the housing department. During my time on the vacation scheme I was given a lot of responsibility and independence whilst working with clients. I really enjoyed being able to feel like I made a genuine difference. I also think being able to work closely on client files has been highly beneficial, especially in relation to my studies, as the skills this has enabled me to develop will be integral for success when undertaking the Legal Practice Course”.
Kathryn and other students participating in the vacation scheme are given the chance to complete real client work to develop their legal understanding and broaden their skills as they gain an insight into how the firm operates. The aim of the scheme has been for the law students to get a real feel for the work that Stephensons undertakes and what we as a firm strive to achieve.
“The scheme at Stephensons has allowed me to appreciate how much work and effort is put into each individual client, as customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance to the firm. It has enabled me to expand upon my abilities and gain a further insight into how a large firm operates. It has been such a valuable opportunity and I am extremely grateful to have been selected to take part.”