At Ellisons, we are committed to supporting future generations of legal professionals. Our Vacation Scheme programmes are aimed at individuals who are interested in becoming future Trainee Solicitors or Solicitor Apprentices.
We recently welcomed our first cohort of students for 2023 to join our two-week Vacation Scheme. The scheme is designed to give students a thorough overview of what it is like to work at a leading East Anglian Law Firm and what they can expect to be doing as a Trainee Solicitor or Solicitor Apprentice.
What attracted you to the Vacation Scheme?
‘I first heard about the vacation scheme during a Careers Evening hosted at my school. I had the opportunity to talk to Ross Wiltshire, who gave me a clear insight into the daily tasks and lifestyle of a solicitor. He gave me a fantastic impression of the firm and the friendly culture in Ellisons really appealed to me, so I decided to apply for their vacation scheme to not only see if law was a career that I’d be willing to pursue in the future, but to gain a taste of the nature and the values at Ellisons.‘ – Casey
‘I heard about the Vacation Scheme and instantly I was attracted to it. The activities and inductions stood out to me as a way to get a head start on being a lawyer. During my time on the Vacation Scheme, I have felt so included and comfortable to be working alongside others within the office.‘ – Matilda
‘I was looking for work experience that would help boost my applications for solicitor apprenticeships and university placements. I wanted to gain an understanding of how solicitors operated in different departments. I was also keen to find out what working as a solicitor and being in an office was like so that I could decide if this was a future career option. I was aware of Ellisons’ good reputation and are an excellent regional firm so I knew this would be a great opportunity to apply for.‘ – Olivia
What has your vacation scheme consisted of?
‘My time at Ellisons has been comprised of a busy itinerary which has been a perfect balance between challenging tasks and extremely fun networking opportunities. With a focus on commercial property, I had the chance to further my legal knowledge through writing an article on the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and with the expertise of Rosanna Sayers, I was able to visualise how the technical aspect of the law is applied within the office, which was invaluable in developing a deeper understanding of how the two are interlinked. I also had the privilege of drafting a client email and comparing commercial leases to assist in real cases. We gained an insight into the other departments through writing an attendance note for a meeting and attending lunches with the solicitor apprentices. This gave us the opportunity to find out more about the working environment and different pathways into the legal field. However, my favourite event was the mock trial, which has proved to be invaluable in developing my case preparation and advocacy skills. The team I was a part of represented Transport for London as we discussed the Congestion Charge Zone fines issued to the appellant.‘ – Casey
‘I have had fantastic opportunities throughout my time with Ellisons. I have experienced how the Residential Property Department operates which has consisted of a variety of tasks such as registering land on the Land Registry and the differences between a Possessory Title and a Title Absolute. I have looked through plenty of contracts and property files to find different documents for those who needed them, and I shadowed a Paralegal who explained various concepts and explained what each document, he was looking at meant. I was shown different searches that must be carried out when selling a property, gaining an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), Local Authority Searches, Water Searches and I also learnt that you cannot let your property out if the EPC is under a band C. Other activities I have participated in are: Digital Networking Skills, Interviewing Skills, Mock Client Meeting Skills, creating an Attendance Note and drafting a lease in the Commercial Property Drafting Exercises. All in all, this has been an invaluable experience.‘ – Olivia
‘During my two-week placement, I was involved in a huge variety of tasks. One of my favourites was participating in a mock trial overseen by the Traffic Adjudicator Graeme Wallington. I was able to advance my advocacy and case management skills while working in a team. Through this activity, I got to know Liberty Amies and Kieran Knight who are both current Apprentice Solicitors. It was also a pleasure attending a client meeting with Harriet Smith and Stewart Nicholson. Reviewing the attendance note that Harriet drafted afterwards, gave me an insight into some of the jobs a trainee will complete. Susan Ryan, who was my supervisor for the placement, supported me through research tasks surrounding planning permission. Despite this being difficult at the beginning, I persisted and completed them successfully with the help of Harriet. Altogether, the whole experience has made it clear that Ellisons is certainly a firm that I could see myself working for. The culture is one that I have not seen in any practice I have attended so far.‘ – Isaiah
Would you recommend the vacation scheme to others?
‘I would 100% recommend this Vacation Scheme, even if you’re not sure about a career in law, I think it is extremely useful and allows you to meet new people and experience working in a real office. As I mentioned earlier, I was still deciding on my career path but after these two weeks I am definitely leaning more towards being a lawyer, especially after having all these opportunities and all of my questions answered. As soon as I started the vacation scheme with Ellisons, I felt welcomed and supported. Everyone has been so kind and helpful which has made me comfortable to ask questions when I wasn’t sure about something. Another thing that makes Ellisons stand out, is the huge number of opportunities and thought that they put into the activities for us. I am so grateful for the effort put into the Vacation Scheme to make it enjoyable for all of us.‘ – Matilda
‘I would definitely recommend this scheme to others. The support from everyone has been incredible and I have learnt a significant amount within these past two weeks. It has definitely cemented my ambition of becoming a Solicitor. I have really liked the friendly culture; everybody has been so kind and welcoming. At first, I was very nervous and felt quite out of place as I had never done anything like this before, but I was put at ease when I arrived as everybody was smiling which made me feel very relaxed. No matter your position, I felt you were always treated with respect.‘ – Olivia
‘My time at Ellisons has dispelled the stereotypes I had surrounding a typical law firm. Despite there being an inevitable expectation on delivering for the client, the support at Ellisons is unmatched. The Ellisons Academy is a fantastic example of this. Whether you’re a paralegal or partner, the firm gives valuable opportunities to grow and better your service through relevant legal modules. Further, through the vacation scheme, the firm shows its willingness to invest in the next cohort of lawyers which is hugely encouraging. All the staff have been welcoming and helpful throughout the vacation scheme. Additionally, Ellisons offer a vast array of different legal services ranging from medical negligence to family. This grants a range of opportunities to new apprentices who can choose what area of law suits their skillset. I am grateful to have seen Ellisons core values being applied in real life with real clients throughout my two-week placement.‘ – Isaiah
‘If you are considering pursuing a career in law, I would highly encourage you to apply for the vacation scheme. The opportunities presented to you will not only allow you to establish a foothold in the legal field, but also to build upon a plethora of transferable skills, for example public speaking, teamwork, organisation and more! In addition, the welcoming and friendly nature of everyone at the firm reflects Ellisons’ values, and it is extremely refreshing to experience life in a law firm that is the antithesis of what is depicted within the media, where most firms are often seen as daunting and unwelcoming, without a sense of community. The upbeat and light-hearted environment in the workplace is a very strong incentive to apply for the placement, allowing you to ask any questions you have without the fear of being judged, and in turn it has built my confidence in public speaking.‘ – Casey
To find out more and apply for the next Vacation Scheme placement, please visit the Vacation Scheme page.