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Shoosmiths Training Contract Review

  • Work/Life Balance

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  • Practical Skills Learnt

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  • Live Up To Expectations

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How long have you worked at Shoosmiths and what is your role?

I am a trainee and I started working for Shoosmiths in September 2011 so quite recently.

How did you apply for the role and did you apply for any other law firms?

I applied through the general application process, which involved long questions as you would expect followed by an Assessment Centre. I did do a vac scheme as well but that was at a different firm.

I did apply for other law firms and my decision on where to apply was based on a couple of different important criteria. First, I wanted to work for a company with a good reputation for their company and secondly I wanted to look at the large commercial law firms that operated within the West Midlands as that was an area I was keen to work within. I believe I have achieved both of those criteria here at Shoosmiths.

What sort of teams do you work in and what is the size and structure of those teams?

I work in the property area which is a large team separated in to quite a lot of different sub teams, one of the fantastic advantages to working as a trainee is the ability to move and work in different sub teams on different project areas. For example there are different types of property areas that Shoosmiths deal with such as development, retail, residential etc.

As I said I work in sub team, which consists of 5 employees, but obviously the overall property department is much bigger.

What is your background previous to Shoosmiths, is it law or non-law?

I am actually from a non-law background. I actually initially studied Psychology before taking a conversion a LPC in order to get a career in law.

What do you believe from your experiences the advantages are of recruiting people from a mix of law to non-law backgrounds?

Well I came from a subject was more scientific background and I believe that having different characters from different areas helps in the working environment as different people offer different skills. Many of the skills I have picked up over my time studying psychology have helped me in my role today.

Coming from a different background also makes you feel a bit more unique and make you stand out a bit more sometimes in interviews.

What are your general working hours and do they fluctuate much?

The hours you work can depend on how much work you have as an individual for that particular day however usually my hours are relatively steady and are from 8.30am - 6pm. It's not dependent on the sub team but more about the individuals workload.

How much are you paid and is it the same as when you started?

I am on a starting salary of £24000 and as I have only been working for a few months it hasn't changed but it usually does increase in the second year.

Do you have to take any exams while at Shoosmiths?

No exams are specifically taken for working at Shoosmiths but I do need to take the Professional Skills Course, which is generally taken by professionals and not just for employees of Shoosmiths.
It is good because it allows me to focus on the work I undertake on a daily basis on the job.

What sort of social activities to Shoosmiths organize outside of the working hours?

They are actually very good in this respect. For example there is a regular event called 'New Friday's' which is aimed at looking at Thursdays as the new Friday and involves trainees from loads of different places to meet up and socialize. This isn't restricted to just law firms either but there are other trainees such as accountants who also attend.

There is a social club that specifically organize events such as the upcoming 'Beer Bus' that help encourage a good balance between work and social life.

Finally what 3 words/phrases would you use to describe Shoosmiths?

Supportive, Down-to-earth and Non-Hierarchal.
 

 

 

 

 

 

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