"As I sat down to write this my mind wandered back to the first day of the Vacation Scheme. Where did that time go? It seems like only yesterday that I was arriving at 10 Upper Bank Street for my first day, nervous, excited, and inquisitive. The reality was that the two weeks passed incredibly quickly, primarily because each day was full of new experiences and opportunities.
I spent two weeks in the Derivatives and Regulatory group, which is part of the Banking department. The work that the group carries out is very intellectually challenging but at the same time very rewarding. I was fortunate enough to have been sat with both a Partner and an Associate and, coupled with my Trainee Buddy, they were able to provide me with a broad range of work whilst at the same time offering three very different perspectives on the firm.
I undertook a wide variety of tasks, ranging from carrying out research on the difference between a Guarantee and a Surety to producing a Bound Volume for a Shariah compliant note issuance. Furthermore, I was able to draft letters to clients, which, after some feedback from my supervisor, were sent out to a client.
This was an extremely gratifying experience and I believe is an indicator of just how seriously the firm takes the work that students undertake whilst on the vacation scheme.
Outside of the Derivatives group I attended a variety of talks hosted by Graduate Recruitment, ranging from a Corporate Case Study to a Pro Bono presentation. These all offered a valuable insight into the other areas of the firm and helped to provide a very well rounded experience. I was fortunate enough to be able to undertake some Pro Bono work, shadowing a trainee during a FreeLaw session and helping out with some mock interviews for local GCSE students. This was a brilliant opportunity to gain firsthand experience of something that I personally think is a very important facet of a career in law.
When not in the office there were a number of excellent social events organised, beginning with drinks in the Budgie (the Clifford Chancecafe/bar) on the first evening. We also had two excellent dinners provided, one each week, which were attended by the graduate recruitment team as well as lawyers from the firm. These were all exceptional networking opportunities and furthermore gave a great insight into the different kinds of personalities that the firm attracts.
If you undertake a vacation scheme it will become apparent to you that the cliche about their not being a Clifford Chance type is undoubtedly correct. It is true that there are attributes that permeate the entire firm, the drive to be the best being the most notable, but there is no blueprint for a perfect Clifford Chance employee.
Hopefully this has given you a good insight into life as a Clifford Chance vacation scheme student and I would encourage anyone interested in a career at a first class international law firm to apply."