Week 2 in the Life of a Vacation Scheme Student | Our Blog

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A Week in the Life of a Vacation Scheme Student: Week 2 - Family

A Week in the Life of a Vacation Scheme Student: Week 2 - Family

Each summer we welcome six vacation scheme students to join us for two weeks, to get an insight into working at Boodle Hatfield and what it is like to train with us. Find out more about what our vacation scheme student, Ellen, got up to during her second week.


After spending my first week in the litigation department, where I helped the team on various matters and was set my ‘litigation project’, I was welcomed into the family department on the Monday of the second week of the vacation scheme. I sat alongside Family Associate, Genevieve Smith. I was given the opportunity to draft a letter to a client for Genevieve’s review. In the afternoon we met Training Partner, Graham Winkley. He was able to tell us about his experience of being a property lawyer at Boodle Hatfield, having trained and progressed through the firm. Following this, Business Development Director, Stella Smith and Marketing and Business Development Manager, Michael Girgenti gave an informative presentation regarding the firm’s BD strategy and its marketing techniques, including profile-building on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. We were also given some useful networking tips which we could employ throughout the week. To end the day, the vacation scheme students took part in a ‘boat debate’, in which each student was given a profession and item and had to state their case for being the last individual remaining in the sinking boat. This required some inventive arguments to say the least!

On Tuesday I assisted trainee, Anna Karan and Senior Associate, Harriet Errington in the completion of some research for their existing client matters. In the evening all the current trainees, HR staff and the vacation scheme students played ‘Crazy Golf’ which enabled us to ask questions about the firm in a more informal setting. The evening was very enjoyable and meant we really got to know the trainees (and their golfing ability!) and how they were finding the transitions between the different departments.

The following day I conducted further research for my litigation project and was also able to listen in on a client call. I saw first-hand the sensitivity, empathy and understanding required to be a family solicitor. More broadly, it illuminated the more emotive side of family law and how smaller tasks of reviewing documents impacts real lives. On Wednesday evening I was able to join the firm’s netball team. The relaxed setting provided an opportunity to engage with people outside the departments I had been working in and acted as a team-bonding exercise. Although the score is ‘probably best forgotten’ (in the words of one of the lawyers), I thoroughly enjoyed client and colleague networking out of the office.

On the Thursday I was able to shadow one of the corporate trainees. The shadowing day provided me both with a helpful insight into typical trainee tasks and allowed me to meet and interact with other members of the firm. During the afternoon I attended a Fashion team meeting, led by the BD Manager, where various marketing strategies were discussed. It was interesting to see the centrality of platforms such as Instagram to the legal market as well as hear about the types of work the fashion law team is undertaking.

On the final day of the scheme, the morning was spent preparing for my litigation project presentation, whilst also finishing off any remaining family work. I also met with Training Partner, Graham Winkley where I was told about the quality of guidance Boodle Hatfield provides to its trainees and the level of responsibility solicitors are given in the firm early in their career. The project presentations were held during the afternoon where we saw the research the other vacation scheme students had been working on throughout the two weeks. Finally, the firm’s summer party took place during the evening where people from across the firm gathered to celebrate the year and it gave the vacation scheme students a chance to discuss how they found the week. It was a very enjoyable and informative evening and allowed the vacation scheme students to further integrate into the firm and end the week on a very positive note.

Vacation Scheme Students, 2019