OSHANA BENOTMANE | LEGAL JARGON WRITER
Virtual Experience with InsideSherpa.
Every law students want to secure legal experience, but the truth is that the schemes are insanely competitive, and only a handful of students experience them. This seems even more out of reach during our current climate.
However, many firms, including magic circle law firms, have invested in creating virtual internships open to everyone who want a taster of the legal work carried out as a trainee. This includes Linklaters, Clifford Chance and many others. These count as valid work experience (trust me I asked graduate recruitment!) and are a great way to figure out if this is the career path you envision in the future.
I have completed the Linklaters virtual scheme and thought I’d share the best way to go through it as well as some tips I’ve learnt:
The virtual internships prepared by the respective law firms ensure you get to know what you will be working on in the future. During the internship, I followed a deal through from beginning to end. I started by pitching to our clients which lawyers would be best suited for the deal through a presentation, then followed by doing some emails to both the client and my colleagues. I learnt to leave voicemails, read NDA files, create a fee report and carry out some legal research. It dives deep into the daily tasks of a trainee and provides you with all the necessary resources to do them yourselves. You’re even rewarded with a trainee example at the end so you can mark your work against theirs and most importantly note down some feedback you would give yourself for the future.
To complete the internship, there are seven modules/tasks which are all supported by an introductory video from a senior lawyer, an explanation of the tasks and all the resources you will need.
Tips as you go along!
Do not stress about the advised time. Do it at your own pace, take notes and make sure you’re learning from your experience.
It’s okay if your answer is different from the model answer; it doesn’t mean you’re wrong.
Keep emails formal and straightforward. Start with “Dear All,”, use bullet points and keep it short.
Always introduce yourself when leaving a voicemail.
Due Diligence is basically a background check of the company your client is acquiring to avoid inheriting any issues or unsolved cases.
Use footnotes to comment on the NDA documents – makes it neat and easy to find.
Evaluate what you are being asked to do. Sometimes the resources contain more than what is needed. Use only what is relevant to the question.
If you’re given a format/example, use this. Don’t create your own things.
Hopefully, some of these tips can guide you during the internship and help you start your tasks, as personally I struggled most with where to start. Also, don’t worry if you feel you’re doing terrible (I know I did) because this experience is meant to expose you to commercial law – not judge how well you do an email. Just make sure to use the feedback and implement it in all future works!
Oshana Benotmane is a second year law student at Queen Mary University of London. Outside her studies, Oshana is also involved with the Commercial Awareness Society and QMLAC. She is aspiring towards a career in corporate law in the fields of M&A and FinTech.
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