Michelmores 2017 Vacation Scheme: our experience

Michelmores currently runs two one-week vacation schemes during the summer based at our Exeter office. We chatted to this year's intake, who provided us with some great insights into their individual experiences of the scheme.

If you are thinking of applying to Michelmores for a training contract, here is what you can expect...

What has been the highlight of your week at Michelmores?

The highlight of my week at Michelmores has been the exposure to both quality work and the high level of responsibility given from the outset. It gave me a massive confidence boost to know that I am capable of assisting my supervisor by completing work efficiently, but also to a high standard. 

I think there is always uncertainty with regards to what you will be expected to know, but I can safely say that Michelmores has reasonable expectations and are really understanding and patient with you. I was also encouraged to ask as many questions as possible, and I found it really helpful that my supervisor sat down with me and reviewed the work I had done throughout the week, making suggestions of where I could improve. 

Overall, the quality of work was considerably more than I expected to have been entrusted with.

Tell us about the team you have been working with this week and the type of work you have been involved with.

This week I have been working with the Property Litigation Team. My first task involved a client who wished to remove the sole director of a company, in which she had a 25% share. I had to review and consider information received from the client to identify various issues that needed to be established and report back to my supervisor with answers.

My second task involved an attempt to negotiate on behalf of a client regarding dilapidation claims and disputing liability on the basis of landlord and tenant legislation. This entailed writing letters of advice to the client and anticipating how the opposition may respond. All of the work that I have completed has been both enjoyable and interesting!

Following your week with us, what three words would you use to describe Michelmores and why?

If I had to describe Michelmores in three words, I would use ‘friendly’, ‘challenging’ and ‘entrepreneurial’.

I chose ‘friendly’, because the people who make up the firm are absolutely that. Walking into a brand new environment can certainly be daunting for the newbie – but at Michelmores, lawyers and support staff from all levels of the business are so welcoming that you feel as though you are part of the team from day one.

I chose ‘challenging’ because the firm is eager to present you with work which tests you and allows you to develop – in my brief week I really felt that I’d been challenged on every front.

Finally, I chose ‘entrepreneurial’ because throughout the business there is a real sense that people are aware of commercial developments and use this knowledge these to help their clients and to develop the firm.

Have you been involved in any social events this week?

On our first day the current Michelmores trainees swept us up into various cars, transported us to the local pub, and plied us with food, drink, advice and anecdotes. It was a great start to a week that has been peppered with friendly people from the top to the bottom of the firm, all making the effort to take us for coffee, chat to us about their work, and find out what our interests are. We were also given an hour one afternoon to chat informally (with cake!) with Malcolm Dickinson, the firm's Managing Partner, about what he saw as the challenges ahead for law firms. A well-attended after-work drinks meeting with the partners and others was another good opportunity to experience Michelmores’ friendly and open culture. All in all – a great firm, with friendly people and fabulous cake!  

Tell us about what you have learnt about life as a trainee at Michelmores from the current trainees.

During my time on the Vacation Scheme, I had many opportunities to chat with the current trainees and ask about life at Michelmores, including asking why the trainees had chosen to train here and what made it stand out for them. A frequent response was that the culture of the firm was attractive, as Michelmores promotes a great work-life balance. The trainees also discussed how they were acting on quality work for local, national and international clients and feel that they are receiving extremely high quality training. It is clear to me that the trainees are given a great level of responsibility during their training which contributes to the feeling that Michelmores is an ambitious and progressive firm. Overall, I have learnt from the current trainees how great it is to be a trainee here!

Would you recommend the Vacation Scheme to other prospective applicants and, if so, why?

I would definitely recommend the Vacation Scheme in the Exeter office to anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in law. The Scheme spans a week and is unparalleled in terms of its structure and organisation.

The week features a number of talks, networking and social events, assessments and departmental work. The assessments are spread throughout the week which means the firm gets to know you better while you give a well-rounded impression of how you perform in a variety of areas. The Scheme has also been beneficially practical and has given me exposure on the kind of tasks expected of a trainee solicitor. This, as well as the opportunity to see first-hand the dynamic and legal environment of an ambitious firm, has been invaluable to me as an aspiring trainee as well as to the development of my career within the legal field.   

If you have any questions on being a trainee (or just fancy saying hello!) please tweet us @MMTrainees