My experiences of the Real Estate and Employment practice groups were the highlight of my summer internship at DLA Piper. On my first morning in the Real Estate team, I was led to my desk where I was to sit next to a partner for the week. This naturally made me feel nervous as I felt that I was under increased pressure to perform. However, this was far from the reality. The partner was working on a large-scale student accommodation project and he asked me to read through the Heads of Terms for the project identifying commercial concerns for both the seller and purchaser which he could later raise in a call with the client. As my very first task of the internship, I was instantly made to feel a valued member of the team having been delegated real work for real clients. From here my responsibilities developed and I was challenged with a range of tasks including researching the risks and practical considerations for a telecoms operator acquiring a data centre, calculating the rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax for a client purchasing a residential property, and writing a report on title registers for a retail outlet's lease of various shopping centre units. This provided a fantastic insight into the diversity of the work encountered by the Real Estate team both in terms of the range of the firm’s clients and the scale of transactions.
In my second week, I sat in the Employment group. Having recently studied employment law at university, it was particularly interesting and rewarding to be able to apply my theoretical knowledge of the law to practical situations. I continued to expand upon my legal skills by conducting research into a sex discrimination query and consolidating my findings into a letter of advice to the client. In addition, I worked closely alongside my supervisor to re-draft a Settlement Agreement by amending and inputting new clauses tailored to the client’s requirements. I found this especially stimulating as attention to detail and accuracy were vital and it was fantastic to be involved in matters of importance to the client.
Having completed my undergraduate law degree, I am now studying the Legal Practice Course as a full-time student at the University of Sheffield. The course comprises of a wide range of employability modules with a focus on developing practical skills through case studies that mimic real-life scenarios. I have been able to considerably build upon the legal research and drafting skills that I was first introduced to on the summer internship. I am also very pleased to have been recently elected as Careers Secretary to sit on the Postgraduate Law Society, for which I have already arranged my first event with DLA Piper. I look forward to interacting with the firm over the next coming months and commencing my Graduate Programme next summer!