Vacation Scheme Blog – Friendly, supportive and social culture
From the 11th to the 15th June, we were fortunate enough to take part in Coffin Mew’s first Summer Vacation Scheme. Our names are Hannah and Natália and we’d like to share our experience with you!
The week began with each of us being paired up with a trainee who was to be our mentor for the week. Hannah was placed in commercial property and Natália sat with the Commercial Dispute Resolution team. During the course of the week, we were both exposed to real client matters, with our work involving legal research, drafting documents and contacting local councils, amongst other tasks. This work was given to us by various different employees of the firm, from trainee to partner. This practice enabled us to get involved in a wide variety of work, as well as showing how the firm doesn’t operate in a classic hierarchical structure.
One of our tasks for the week was to split into two teams and pitch an idea for an ethical product to one of the firm’s clients. Not only was this an enjoyable team activity in which we got to know our fellow vacation schemers, it also allowed us to develop our business and commercial awareness skills.
During the week, Coffin Mew really made us feel like we were part of the firm. For example, we were invited to attend the firm’s new brand launch meeting, as well as a lunch-and-learn on the new GDPR regulations. This also gave us a real perspective on how the firm is managed on a daily basis.
Our agenda for the week also included a breakfast meeting with the firm’s management board, where we were invited to put forward our ideas on how Coffin Mew could continue to support their staff and ensure they feel valued. This incited an open discussion with the firm’s CEO and board, with their enthusiastic response to our ideas demonstrating the firm’s open and transparent working environment.
Throughout our Vacation Scheme Coffin Mew really showed us their friendly, supportive and social culture by inviting us to get involved in a number of activities and events. One evening we were delighted to attend the Junior Lawyers summer rounders and BBQ event where we all got to work as a team, network with other firms in the Southampton area and show off our sporting prowess in a relaxed environment. On the penultimate day we also arranged a dinner out in Portsmouth to celebrate one of our fellow vacation schemer’s birthdays and our time at Coffin Mew. The week was finally topped off with a spectacular night attending the firms annual summer party at Goodwood Racecourse. These combined confirmed to us that Coffin Mew really does have a good work-life balance, as per their reputation – which is a rarity in the legal sector!
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our week at Coffin Mew and were delighted to take part in their Vacation Scheme. We both applied to Coffin Mew in the hope that the firm’s culture and values present as indicated on their website were true in practice. Following our experiences this week, we can both definitely say that the firm is indeed true to its image and we would definitely encourage others in our position to apply!
Natália Tanser and Hannah Taylor