Vacation Scheme Blog – Relaxed and warming introductions
After attending the fantastic Open Day Coffin Mew had to offer, I was extremely pleased to find I had been invited back to attend their Summer Vacation Scheme from the 11th – 15th June 2018.
I arrived at the Lakeside office at 9:30am where shortly after there were an array of very relaxed and warming introductions by their friendly HR team. I also met my mentor, Lauren Kendell, who informed me I was going to be located within the Personal Injury team. After all the introductions were over, there was a lunch and learn presentation from an entrepreneurial client who set the two teams (the Portsmouth office and the Southampton office) a challenge of inventing a new business idea/product. This task lasted the whole duration of the week. Following this, it was time to work on real client matters. After just one day, I can clarify that the rumours of Coffin Mew are true – they really do give you a lot of hands-on client contact from very early on.
On my second day I attended another presentation from the HR team who explained, in more detail, how Coffin Mew operates and their ambitions. This opened my eyes to the fact that Coffin Mew is a lot more than just a traditional law firm providing legal advice – it is serious about business development too. Afterwards, I again worked on client matters where, for the first time, I attended a house visit for a client meeting which lasted for over 3 hours!
Although I was mainly based in the Lakeside office, I had to travel to the Southampton office on Wednesday morning to attend the monthly Management Board meeting which was an absolute pleasure to attend. Within the meeting the question ‘What would you bring to the Management Board to help business development?’ was posed to all those attending the Vacation Scheme. After, I had to go back to the Lakeside office to attend another house. I also had the duty to draft my first ever prospect team email which was quite daunting. In the evening I attended the South Hampshire Junior Lawyer Division where we had a BBQ and played a friendly game of rounders against other law firms.
After attending a meeting with the Marketing/PR team, I had a busy day ahead of me. I first had to draw up a Particulars of Claim for a case I was working on. Thereafter I had to write out a client statement which is used to assess whether the case is worth taking on. Thankfully, Coffin Mew has an excellent support system as demonstrated when, shortly after completing both tasks, Tan Jaff called me aside for a one-to-one discussion about my work where she provided me with constructive feedback.
Friday had to be the most stressful day as both teams were preparing to present their idea from the challenge set on Monday. Fortunately, we had the help of a few trainees who provided guidance with presenting techniques and what possible questions the panel might ask. Both teams performed extremely well. After the presentations, it was time to prepare for the races at Goodwood, but not only the races, but also DJ Steve Aoki. To say the least, these guys know how to party.
I would recommend anyone who is considering a career in law to undertake the Coffin Mew Vacation Scheme. Right from day one you will feel welcomed and one of the team but also you will be veered out of your comfort zone for a very good reason – for the purposes of growth and progression. However, what made the week even more special was the people you work with; it is the people who will make you want to stick around permanently.