Art Theft, the Middle East, and Darts: Takeaways from a Vacation Scheme at Boodle Hatfield as a non-Law Graduate - Boodle Hatfield

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01 Aug 2023

Art Theft, the Middle East, and Darts: Takeaways from a Vacation Scheme at Boodle Hatfield as a non-Law Graduate

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Jenny Sanghera View profile
3 min read

Each summer we welcome six students to join us for a two-week period for our Vacation Scheme. The annual event enables the candidates to get an insight into working at Boodle Hatfield and gauge what a training contract may look like. 2023 vacation scheme student, Aiden Domb reflects on his key takeaways from the two week experience at Boodle Hatfield.

Having survived the journey from Waterloo Station, and navigating the BFI roundabout, I walked into Boodle Hatfield’s office for the first time. Immediately I was greeted by a friendly receptionist, setting the scene for the next two weeks, where I would be exposed to a type of law firm that I didn’t know existed in the real world, rather than just on Legal Cheek.

A typical day as a Vacation Scheme student included shadowing an associate lawyer, alongside a range of case studies, seminars, and social events, providing an insight into the breadth of services and expertise that Boodle Hatfield offers. The case studies were provided with packs of relevant legal information and ‘evidence’, this ensured that despite not having a background in law, I was able to fully participate in discussions, whilst feeling comfortable to ask questions when I needed clarification.

During the first week, we were invited to a firmwide talk on business development within the Middle East, demonstrating the importance of not only networking, but adapting to different cultures and customs. That week I worked within the contentious team within the Private Client and Tax department. Without a law degree, I was initially curious to see how I would adapt to this environment, however I quickly found that all those around me seemed genuinely enthusiastic to help me learn. Every day, multiple staff members, from Trainees to the Senior Partner would stop by, whether just to say hello, or to ask me to aid in research or completing work.

Despite Boodle Hatfield being a distinctly Private Client-focussed firm, the scope of its service areas were far wider than I could have expected. In my second week, I sat in the Litigation department where I was exposed to cases spanning international art-theft and unpaid legal damages recovery, both of which tested the limits of English legal jurisdiction and demonstrated the multi-national approach that has be adopted in certain cases. Before starting my vacation scheme, litigation was an area I had no prior experience of, however left with seeing myself working in this role in the future.

My experience at Boodle Hatfield truly showcased the value of training at a smaller firm. Even in my position, I was immediately asked to work on high-profile cases, and I could recognise the effort by all those around me to ensure the experience was as educational as possible. This is something that was emphasised when chatting with the friendly Trainees and newly qualified lawyers on our last day, when we went out for darts and drinks. My central highlight of completing a Vacation Scheme at Boodle Hatfield was the people. This was reflected at every stage of the programme and every level of seniority across the firm. These two weeks provided not only a fantastic insight into the firm, but also an unprecedented volume of education and support that I hope to put to use in my future career.

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