I am in the first year of my Brodies traineeship, but back in 2021 I also had the opportunity to undertake a summer placement with the firm. Having greatly enjoyed it, I thought I would share some reflections of my time with the firm; from the first interview to how I find life as a trainee.
Application and interview:
The placement is an incredibly valuable experience and it does give you a snapshot of trainee life. To ensure you submit a successful application put time into getting to know Brodies. This should include researching what it does as a full service firm, the sectors we service and recent transactions, as well as understanding our values, our commitment to the community and our emphasis on inclusion and diversity. Also, make sure to highlight what makes you unique and a good fit for the firm to ensure your application stands out from the rest.
If successful, you'll be invited to an interview. This will be with our people engagement team and a legal colleague. Get to know your interviewers as you will be given a chance to ask questions. A key way to prepare for the interview is to collate a list of real-life examples that you can use to demonstrate your skills and qualities. These will help answer competency-based questions that reflect on your self-motivation, teamwork, time-management and communication skills.
There is more information in our interview preparation pack
I remember feeling a mixture of excitement and nerves on the first day of my placement. Due to the pandemic, it was to be a virtual placement so I, I feared I would feel isolated. I couldn’t have been more wrong - from day one I was given a warm welcome and this put my nerves at ease. My placement was in the personal & family practice based in Glasgow. They made me feel as part of the team from the moment I started working with them. Colleagues were always happy to help, demonstrating the collegiate atmosphere of the firm.
You'll be assigned a mentor, a lawyer who will allocate you work, as well as provide guidance and support throughout the placement. A buddy, who will be a trainee at the firm, will also be on hand to answer all your questions. Reflecting on my placement and the immense support I received from both my mentor and buddy, I would recommend keeping a dialogue with them throughout the placement.
In terms of workload, I was impressed with the level of responsibility given to me. I had the opportunity to engage in interesting live client work including executory administration, drafting wills and powers of attorney. It was a great chance to get a taste of what it's like to be a lawyer.
One of the main highlights of my summer placement with Brodies was the learning breakfasts. These sessions are a fantastic way to learn about the different practice areas, including the commercial service divisions, projects, energy and infrastructure and corporate crime. It also provided a great opportunity to ask questions and to get to know your potential future colleagues.
One of the key benefits of doing the summer placement, is that instead of having to do all the assessments in the one day you can spread them throughout your placement. The assessments include an interview, a written task and a presentation. You will also be set a project by your team, which is likely to be on new developments in the law. Your mentor and buddy are invaluable here, passing down handy tips that will put you more at ease for the assessments.
Life as a trainee
I am now three months into the first seat of my traineeship in corporate and commercial, one of my top three seat choices. I look forward to each day knowing that no two days are the same. Getting involved in work from high profile clients from a variety of sectors is a fulfilling experience. Overall, I can say with confidence that I am glad to have returned to Brodies as a trainee and the summer placement was great preparation for the traineeship. For those looking for a valuable insight into the life as a trainee can depend on a summer placement at Brodies to do just that.
Our summer placement applications for 2023 are now live – apply here.