I was thrilled when I heard that I had secured a Summer Internship at DLA Piper. It was the firm I had dreamed of working for: a global commercial law firm with a presence in so many countries worldwide. My internship was three weeks long with one week spent in London and two weeks in my base office, Edinburgh.
On the first day, we were given an idea of our schedule. It was a busy week filled with inspiring talks, challenging workshops and great social events. Throughout the week, we had the opportunity to meet Simon Levine (Global Co-CEO and Managing Partner) and Charles Severs (Managing Director). They each delivered talks that left us feeling ambitious, motivated and determined to join the firm. Between talks, we participated in workshops. A workshop that I found particularly memorable was a training session on professional skills. We discussed the importance of effective communication, and the responsibility we have as individuals to be mindful of how we communicate given the diversity within a law firm like DLA Piper. I left that workshop feeling like DLA Piper had an ethos that I would be proud to be a part of.
The social aspect of our week in London was excellent. We attended various dinners and drinks receptions with employees from the London office which was a great opportunity to speak a bit more informally to those that know first-hand what it means to be a DLA Piper solicitor. In attending these social events it struck me that while we were a diverse group, we were very like-minded. It felt like a real community within days and we were sad to be parting ways when it came time to return to our home offices, though we all were very much looking forward to what was to come.
Back at our home offices, we spent time in two practice areas that interested us. I had the opportunity to work firstly in the Litigation and Regulatory group and then in Real Estate. In my first week, I worked on a complex litigation issue for the Legal Director within the team. I was given the space to problem solve and show my ability but I was also constantly supported. I felt as if I could tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience of the team to improve on my work. In Real Estate I was given an interesting task relating to the interaction between environmental and real estate law. I had the opportunity to work closely with one of the Partners within the team and conduct research individually. Throughout both work experience placements in our practice groups I received constructive feedback and learned a lot.
I was pleased that I could keep in touch with the wider DLA Piper community through daily teleconferences with offices all over the UK. The teleconferences consisted of interesting talks from DLA Piper's lawyers from all over the world. The speakers were truly inspiring and gave us a real impression of the firm’s global reach. We also had two projects to work on in partnership with other interns. These projects consisted of a mock client pitch and a pro bono presentation. This is in keeping with my impression of the firm as one dedicated to its clients and their evolving needs but also a firm that recognises and delivers on its corporate social responsibility.
A summer internship at DLA Piper is a great way to get to know the firm and confirm your passion for practising in international commercial law.
I am looking forward to beginning my graduate programme in September 2019.