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Simmons & Simmons LLP Vacation Scheme Review

  • Work/Life Balance

    8
  • Practical Skills Learnt

    7
  • Live Up To Expectations

    8
What was the application process like for the scheme?

I remember the application itself being tedious, with the questions being quite generic. There is a verbal reasoning test, which most people hate but when you get the hang of them they are not so bad. I think they do not put as much emphasis on the verbal reasoning test as other firms.

 

Were there any interviews involved in the application process? If so, what was the hardest question you were asked?

When invited for an interview, there is a competency interview and a document exercise. The competency interview is what you expect it to be, with an emphasis on Simmons and why commercial law. The document exercise is more difficult. You are given a document to read through in 30 minutes and then you answer questions about it with an interviewer. The hardest question was in relation to the document, but as long as you stay calm and take your time then it is fine.

 

What were you expecting from the vacation scheme before you started?

Having been the brand ambassador the firm the year preceding the vac scheme, I had a good feel for the Simmons culture. We were given an itinerary of the scheme about a month before, which I thought was really great. I expected it to be social and fun, having seen what was planned for the three weeks.

 

What sort of hours did you work during your time there?

The hours I worked were never too long. There is usually something planned in the evening, meaning you leave at 5:30 or 6:00pm to meet everyone. I worked until 7:30pm one day, but that was atypical and usually it is down to your own enthusiasm if you want to stay a bit later, not required at all.

 

What was the culture of the organisation like?

Very friendly and inclusive. There are some partners who are clearly very driven, but you just need to know how to judge personalities and behave accordingly. Some departments will be more serious than others, usually the ones that Simmons have a strong reputation in.

 

What were your duties on a day-to-day basis?

I did a great deal of research and problem solving in the more niche seats that involve more black letter law. This is much like having a problem question on the exam and then drafting a response to a client. Feedback for these kind of exercises is very good. In the IP department, I drafted a cease & desist letter, visited the RCJ, had proof reading exercises and a number of admin-related tasks like collating data.

 

What was the most challenging part of your experience?

Because I had a lot of research tasks, I found it quite difficult to find a coherent answer. Sometimes there may not be a clear answer and you have to conclude by analogy or by extrapolation. It can be quite stressful when you don’t find the exact answer but as long as you show your working and give an opinion as to the conclusion then it is absolutely fine.

 

Did you get to meet any senior members of staff during your time at the firm?

Yes, we met partners during our client pitch project as well as some of the social events like softball. The presentations throughout the week also offered an opportunity to meet senior members of staff. 

 

If you had the opportunity to do the scheme again what would you do differently?

Make more of an effort to find out about other departments. 

 

What three words would use to describe your experiences at the company?

Challenging, friendly, fun. 

 

 

 

 

 

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