Aneesah's vacation scheme experience at Bird & Bird
Unlike most firms, for the whole of my vacation scheme this summer I sat in the Dispute Resolution department. I valued the fact that we were not rotated between two or three departments as it allowed us to properly meet and work alongside colleagues as well as meaningfully contribute to substantial pieces of work over a longer period of time. I was given varied work from trainees and associates as well as my supervisor, both in my department and from elsewhere across the firm. As a law with French student, I was surprised at how much I was able to utilise my French on interesting matters including reviewing Belgian guidance on the GDPR and researching previous French cases where athletes had failed to comply with the World Anti-Doping Code
Other than working, there was so much else to get involved in during the scheme. All of us took part in the Office Olympics (a series of office based ‘sports’ including hula hooping and origami (in which I came 12th out of 12)). I also played in local leagues for the firm’s softball and women’s football teams – (no prior experience was necessary!) There were also regular social events including bowling, drinks evenings, lunches in the city and brunches. Getting involved in the array of sports and social activities that the firm has to offer was a great way to meet members of the firm that I otherwise wouldn’t have come across, as well as get a feel for the extremely social side of Bird & Bird.
There is no a better way to see if you’ve chosen the right law firm than through a vacation scheme. Whilst of course the firm is assessing you and your ability to fit in and be an asset to the firm, being immersed in a firm’s activities for two weeks gives you with the same opportunity to see if the culture, work and people are what best suit you for your future career.
I found the recruitment process for a vacation scheme at Bird & Bird relaxed in comparison to others that I’ve experienced. The assessment centre was nowhere near as daunting as I thought it might be – the partner interviews are more a friendly chat about you rather than an impossible interrogation. Be sure to make your application as specific to Bird & Bird as possible and show that you’re aware of and excited by the firm’s focuses and expertise. Most importantly: promote your individuality. Bird & Bird is a diverse firm where varying academic backgrounds; interests; strengths and experiences are strongly valued. If you’ve done something interesting or unusual or have a particular passion, talk about it and how it’ll help shape you into a good lawyer. Remember that the process is not designed to catch you out, but to give you an opportunity to show as much about yourself as possible!
Aneesah Kabba-Kamara, Future Trainee