Mason Hayes Solicitors

Practical Solutions through Industry Expertise Practical Solutions through Industry Expertise Practical Solutions through Industry Expertise

Student Placements

Over the summer, Mason Hayes has offered several students the chance to gain valuable work experience by taking part in a short vacation scheme. Students apply in the usual way by submitting their CV and covering letters and then a lucky few are selected to attend the placements.

This year, I have been heavily involved in the selection process as well as arranging the work for the students to complete whilst they are with us. Our aim is to ensure that students experience what it is like to work in a commercial law firm and to give them hands on experience of real cases. I therefore drafted a seminar based on a historical case that the firm handled.

The students use their time to read through the seminar and the various Pleadings and correspondence provided to them. When they feel prepared they will then be given the opportunity to talk through the case with myself and a more senior fee earner. The students will be asked what they think the strengths and weaknesses of the case are and how they would advise the client and move the matter forward.

Quite often this will be the first time that students read cases from this perspective. It is obviously a very different experience than learning the academic side of the law as cases need to be approached with commercial acumen as well as legal expertise. I think this is one of the most valuable lessons that we can teach students early on in their careers.

My top tips to ensure that you make it through the selection round would be to ensure that you know the firm you are applying for and make the covering letter relevant to that firm. Don’t use a generic covering letter for each firm you apply for as this is transparent and does not show the firm that you have really taken an interest in the type of work they undertake.

Moreover, ensure that you are punctual and smart when attending any placement and approach it like you would approach the start of a new job. Enthusiasm and talent will shine through to the firm’s you undertake placements with. It is becoming increasingly common for firms to offer jobs to people that stand out during work experience placements so make sure you show them what you can do!

Until next month,

Kimberley

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