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Vacation scheme 2021 - Shania Hussain

3 August 2021
vacation scheme

Browne Jacobson’s inclusivity and welcoming culture is one of their most attractive differentiations from other law firms.

Having initially experienced a glimpse of the firm’s inclusivity during a University mentoring BAME scheme, I am pleased to have experienced that Browne Jacobson’s friendly and inclusive culture is the firm’s “beating heart”. My impression is that Browne Jacobson is an extremely collaborative firm, boasting an extremely supportive staff network, as the vacation scheme highlighted with its various department introduction talks, skills sessions and internal feedback. This supportive network is a perfect environment to independently attempt legal matters in a safe zone. For example, I successfully completed corporate matters such as fully completing a Share Buy Back process through to drafting a final client advice email, despite starting the vacation scheme with limited corporate knowledge and confidence!

My motivation to pursue a legal career stems from enjoying the academic side of law, experiencing problem solving scenarios during my undergraduate LLB Law degree, and then putting the theory into practice with roles such as a work placement in a county council’s Democratic Services Department and as a student legal advisor at a university Legal Advice Centre. These theoretical and practical experiences highlighted my interest in pursuing a career in law, where I can practice daily problem solving, analysing and anticipating client needs.

If I could give advice to my younger self, it would be to network as much as possible! Despite the vacation scheme being virtual, I made it a personal goal to reach out and network with as many trainees as possible so that I could obtain a true insight into the firm’s culture. By the end of the scheme, I’m extremely glad to have followed this goal through as speaking to trainees such as Gavin Lock and Shania Sood and joining internal inclusive discussion sessions made the scheme so much more enjoyable. I truly felt included in the team, always a “part of the conversation” and not just a temporary vacation scheme candidate. Thanks to the firm’s networking opportunities, I hope to continue to develop relationships within the firm.

So, a key piece of advice to my younger self would be to confidently network and be more inquisitive, because once you start networking you realise there’s nothing scary about it and you gain such an interesting insight into the culture of firms.

My first Friday of the vacation scheme was my favourite day of the scheme. I start off having a 9:00am meeting with my Supervisor, where I am given real corporate work to complete. I am tasked to complete all ancillary documents required for a company to buy back company shares. I have the opportunity to focus on this task and meet the set deadline by the end of the day so that on Monday I can start the week completing the next process of placing the company shares into treasury and then allotting the shares, per client instructions. As expected during a busy vacation scheme, I also set one hour aside during my department period to organise and work on our group project, and to present our findings by the end of the scheme. After a busy and interesting day, we then finished with a virtual teambuilding exercise where we had to gather evidence to catch a “Rogue Agent”. This virtual puzzle challenge was by far the most brilliant virtual social I have come across. Browne Jacobson excellently provides a lateral thinking challenge and it is great fun to be the fastest winning team. After this event, we then had an end of the week support catch up with Graduate Recruitment who checks on how we are settling into our teams and how we’re finding the scheme. And just like that, the scheme goes by so fast! Graduate recruitment did a great job creating such a jam-packed schedule, every day was varied and interesting and I looked forward to seeing what was scheduled every morning.

Written by Shania Hussain.