What are the benefits of a Black Professionals Scotland (BPS) internship?
The main benefit is the exposure to a well-known large commercial law firm and an insight into the variety of work that is available in the different practice areas. This is particularly important if you are in a situation where you may not yet have undertaken prior legal work experience.
Increased confidence in your individual ability is another benefit. On my placement, I vividly remember people asking me about extra-curricular activities I had listed on my CV and being complimentary about the non-legal work experience I had on it. This gave me a confidence boost because I finally felt like my non-legal experiences would not hinder my opportunity to gain legal work opportunities.
What type of work did you get involved in while completing your internship?
I spent four weeks in the corporate renewable energy and oil and gas teams and one week in the litigation insurance and risk team, specifically in the shipping and marine sector. I was assigned tasks with varying levels of responsibility. This included contact with clients and third parties on occasion.
In addition to this I:
- Drafted and presented a case update that involved reading and summarising a judgment, explaining the reasoning behind the judgment and the commercial considerations stemming from the case relevant to the firm's energy clients.
- Reviewed several agreements that involved proof-reading documents, cross-checking definitions, dates and clauses.
- Assisted Kings Counsel in a high value cross-border personal injury action by being their point of contact and collating documents they required for court.
- Assisted with contract preparation and drafting. This involved data entry and using an industry standard guide to assist me with the drafting of a contract.
- Drafted an email to a third party, instructing them to sign an agreement in accordance with the Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995.
- Legal research.
- And liaised with a third party regarding a vessel arrestment action requiring the serving of papers in Malta. This involved contacting them via telephone and email.
Tell us about your role now.
I am currently working as an office management assistant. I'm responsible for the day-to-day running of the office. This consists of covering reception, providing hospitality and any administrative assistance the staff require. On reception, I answer incoming calls and direct them to relevant colleague, managing the Aberdeen office's email inbox and greeting clients as they arrive for their meetings. I'm also responsible for setting up meeting rooms. As for my administrative duties, this involves assisting lawyers with anything they require such as the scanning mail, printing documents, assisting with the preparation of court bundles, binding wills and franking mail.
The application process for the role was quick and straight forward. I saw the role advertised on the Brodies website. After submitting my CV and cover letter, I had a competency-based interview arranged with the office manager and a people engagement advisor within a week. After the interview, I was advised I had secured the position within two days prior to the completion of my placement. As I was already working at Brodies, and I had already made a good impression on my placement I think it helped me secure the role.
Why do you enjoy working at Brodies?
I love the culture at Brodies. It really is a people firm. I am fortunate in the sense that I got to experience working in both Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Everyone in both offices were super friendly, eager to introduce themselves and help when I needed. I have now worked in the Aberdeen office for several months and I can comfortably say that the way I was treated on my placement is still the way I am treated now. The offices are also very sociable. This has made it easy to make friends. There is always something to get involved with or attend for those that want to.