Having attended Bright Network First Year Lawyers Top 100, Phoebe successfully applied for a summer vacation scheme with Pinsent Masons through the Bright Network website. She wanted to share some of her experiences with fellow Bright Network members.
Why did you choose a summer vacation scheme with Pinsent Masons?
I participated on the Pinsent Masons Gap Year Programme so had already spent eight months at the firm. This gave me a fantastic insight into not only their work, but their culture and I loved working there. I chose to do a vacation scheme at the firm to experience life at the London office, and also see how the firm has grown in the last two years since I have worked there.
What was the toughest part of the application process? And your favourite part?
The toughest part of the application process was during the test I had to do on the assessment day. It was not the same type of critical reasoning test used by other firms and instead focused on shapes. It was tough as it was nothing I had done before, but it was an interesting challenge. My favourite part of the application process was the interview. My interviewer was extremely friendly and it felt more like a general conversation than an interview, despite there being set questions. For example, as soon as I sat down my interviewer was excited to tell me that they had noticed my address on my application form and actually often visited the tiny Devon village I come from during their summer holidays. I was surprised anyone had even heard of it! Finding this kind of common ground made me feel very relaxed and it further entrenched for me the firm's friendly, approachable culture.
Were you surprised by anything in the process?
I was surprised by one question in my interview; if I could change anything in the law what would it be. This meant I had to think on my feet, and although my answer may have been a bit abstract, it gave me the opportunity to demonstrate my way of thinking, and also what I was genuinely passionate about within the legal world, even if it was not commercial.
What three top tips would you give your fellow Bright Network members?
Try as much as possible to meet with firms you wish to apply to as it helps to gain some insight into a firm's personality and culture. If other people at your university have experience with a firm you want to apply to, be this an interview, an open day, a vacation scheme, don't be afraid to approach them for help as most are more than happy to assist and give you insight into that firm. Do not leave applications to the last minute and quality not quantity!
What's your lucky charm or pre-interview ritual?
I always wear the same bright red coat to my interviews as it makes me feel confident and ready for the challenge of an assessment day.