History is littered with promising candidates who have shot themselves in the foot by not approaching their legal vacation schemes in the right way. There follows some tips on how to successfully navigate a work placement both in and out of the office.
In the office:
- Be yourself
- Don’t be a wall flower – try to be pro-active and get involved in things
- Do not sit in silence without anything to do – ask to be given some work
- Do not spend personal time on the phone, internet, email or your mobile phone whilst in the office – leave this for outside of office hours
- Be enthusiastic about everything you do even where the tasks are mundane – this will create the right impression of willingness to work
- Be inquisitive – ask plenty of questions and show your willingness to learn and get something out of your legal vacation scheme
- Ask the silly question – if you do not understand something then ask. You will do more harm if you don’t and then you produce a poor piece of work as a result
- Don’t be competitive with others – perceived arrogance or trying to get one up on others will be frowned upon
- Treat all support staff with respect – they often have a lot more power in the recruitment process than you might realise
- Dress appropriately – smart business dress is almost always required. Do not turn up in dad’s ill fitting suit or in the latest (inappropriate) female fashions.
Out of the office:
- Be yourself
- Do not get involved in any office gossip or bad mouthing any of your potential future colleagues
- Be grateful if you are provided with social events – do not moan about the venue, the food or the wine
- Do not get drunk and make a fool of yourself – remember you are still being assessed even on social occasions where everyone is letting their hair down
- Leave romance at the office door – do not have any dalliances with fellow work experience members or other staff at the firm no matter how tempting
- On your nights off do not overdo it and turn up with a stinking hangover the next day
- Always plan your travel time with a bit of leeway to ensure you turn in good time for each day
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