Vacation Scheme Blog – Unique blend of friendly and professional
As soon as I arrived at Coffin Mew I could see that the firm is unlike any firm I had previously encountered. Stepping nervously through the doors, clutching the information packs I noticed that I had stepped away from the stuffy suits and old school ties and into a friendly firm with a relaxed dress code policy in order to break down any barriers between solicitors and clients. We were also treated to a welcoming breakfast in order to meet the solicitors and other vacation scheme students – the nerves gone and the excitement raged. This set the tone for the rest of the week which was a unique blend of friendly and professional that really sets the firm apart.
We were assigned a trainee mentor who guided us through the week. The legal areas covered by Coffin Mew are vast, from personal injury to corporate, spanning over 25 sectors. We were assigned to the Employment, Commercial and Insolvency departments.
Throughout the week we were given activities by our mentors, which ranged from client meetings to drafting contracts and interpreting law. This level of responsibility made us feel respected from day one, as well as enabling us to experience the working life of a solicitor. We were also invited to informal lunches with the trainees, often in the park opposite the Southampton office, which really made us feel like ‘one of the crew’.
On the Wednesday, we attended a breakfast meeting with the Management Board. We were introduced to each director and able to say what we believed would improve Coffin Mew. This meeting displayed to us that at Coffin Mew there is no formal hierarchy and everyone is listened to.
During the week, we were split up into two teams in order to come up with an innovative idea (which was in accordance with a client’s moral views). On the Friday, we were given the opportunity to present the ideas to the client and Miles Brown (Coffin Mew’s CEO). At the end of our presentations we were asked questions and were given feedback.
During the week, we were able to join some wonderful social events. On Wednesday, we were invited to the South Hampshire Junior Lawyer’s Rounder’s and BBQ event. Along with a few bruised knees and tarnished egos (turns out that we are all as bad as each other!), came worthwhile networking and a good burger. On the Friday, we were invited to Coffin Mew’s flagship event at Goodwood Racecourse. We were given good food, great music and there was an amazing atmosphere. This was an excellent event to round off the week.
Overall, I could not recommend Coffin Mew’s vacation scheme more highly. We were given the opportunity to show and improve our skills and were rewarded with some amazing social events.
Miles Hughes and Antonia Nelson