My work experience at Reed Smith
Emily Reding secured work experience through the Reed Smith Mentoring Programme as a result of winning the programme’s presentation challenge.
We cought up with Emily after her work experience placement at Reed Smith to find out what she gained from the experience and how it’s helped her prepare for the future.
(Pictured: Emily with her mentor having won the programme’s presentation challenge)
Do you feel you’d have been able to gain work experience like this without The Brokerage?
The Brokerage has opened up so many opportunities for me during the short while I have been involved with them. From the Nomura networking sessions to the Reed Smith mentoring programme, I have acquired valuable experience about the world of work and the different opportunities available for me when I leave Sixth Form. Without The Brokerage, I wouldn’t have been introduced to the contacts that I now have within Reed Smith, and wouldn’t have been able to gain the work experience with the firm during the Easter half-term.
Did anything about the firm or legal sector surprise you?
I think that there is definitely a stigma around lawyers and the legal sector in general, where it is thought that lawyers are unapproachable and condescending, however, this couldn’t have been further away from the truth at Reed Smith. It was clear that everyone within the firm was treated as equals, from the support staff to the partners, and I didn’t come across an individual that wasn’t welcoming or willing to assist me in any way.
Do you feel you were able to develop any skills during your time at Reed Smith – if so, what did you develop and how?
Absolutely. For me, the work experience wasn’t only about gaining knowledge of the legal sector and the different job roles that a law firm requires. During my time at Reed Smith, I was able to develop my social skills within a working environment, and how to react to different situations and interactions, by working in several departments with different people. In addition to this, in regards to the London environment, I was able to experience the challenges of commuting to and from the Reed Smith office, while ensuring that I was punctual and organised.
Can you tell of one thing you have learnt during your work experience?
I think that the main thing for me was the fact that within the legal sector, there are so many more opportunities than I had realised. Not only did I meet and interact with lawyers, but I was able to fully understand the impact of the other staff at the firm. Working amongst the marketing team was such as eye-opener, as I was unaware of all the more creative work that goes on behind the scenes. In particular, the events team was of great interest to me, as it was something I had never considered before the work experience at Reed Smith, but it seemed like a job that would really suit me due to the organisation aspect, the interactions with different people, the travel and the wide variety of tasks that each-day would bring.
What was the highlight of your week at Reed Smith?
A definite highlight for me was the involvement in a particular legal case within the real estate department. Although I cannot disclose specific information, I was included in the case as another lawyer or member of staff would have been, and I was able to share my research and opinions, which were then considered and incorporated within the transaction.
What are your future plans?
After the experience with both Reed Smith and C.F.Møller, an architectural practice that Reed Smith had arranged for me to have a two day work placement with, due to my interest in the profession, I know that after Sixth Form, my preference would be to find a degree-apprenticeship course in the creative industry, where I could both earn a salary while studying for my degree.
Written by Emily Reding, Year 12 student